FAU loses to Southern Miss, 4-0, in C-USA championship

The Owls are now hoping an NCAA Tournament selection.

Coach+John+McCormack+led+FAU+to+a+40-win+season%2C+but+couldn%27t+finish+it+off+with+a+Conference+USA+championship.+Jordan+Foreman%2FConference+USA.+
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FAU loses to Southern Miss, 4-0, in C-USA championship

Coach John McCormack led FAU to a 40-win season, but couldn't finish it off with a Conference USA championship. Jordan Foreman/Conference USA.

Coach John McCormack led FAU to a 40-win season, but couldn't finish it off with a Conference USA championship. Jordan Foreman/Conference USA.

Coach John McCormack led FAU to a 40-win season, but couldn't finish it off with a Conference USA championship. Jordan Foreman/Conference USA.

Coach John McCormack led FAU to a 40-win season, but couldn't finish it off with a Conference USA championship. Jordan Foreman/Conference USA.

Zachary Weinberger, Sports Editor

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In what was the championship round of the Conference USA tournament, FAU was held scoreless in a 4-0 loss to Southern Miss.

While FAU went 3-0 in the tournament prior to that, the trends that got them to the final round weren’t present when it counted most. For example, the Owls’ offense in the postseason before today’s game was excellent, but they couldn’t come up with any runs despite them having ten hits in the game on Sunday.

One of the only times the Owls had a threat of scoring was in the first inning, when they had the bases loaded. However, they didn’t take advantage.

Eric Keating got the start for FAU in the championship game but had a forgettable outing to say the least, as he allowed three runs on five hits while only striking out only one across 2.1 innings. Keating got into trouble early in the second and third innings, allowing Southern Miss to advance to a 3-0 lead.  

Vince Coletti then replaced Keating to pitch the next four innings, only giving up a single run while striking out three. Then in the seventh inning, Dylan O’ Connell, who the Owls have deployed multiple times this tournament, came in to finish the game.

Despite decent pitching, however, FAU’s bats weren’t connecting in the shutout loss. Exactly how surprising was ito see a goose egg like that? It was the first time the Owls have been shutout since March 2018.

”The difference was the beginning of the game. We had bases loaded, one out, we weren’t able to convert,” FAU coach John McCormack told FAUSports.com. “(Southern Miss) was able to convert, so congratulations to them. We’ve got to be better, we had some opportunities. Our thing is, we gotta score runs and we weren’t able to do it, but credit to USM’s pitchers, they did a great job.”

While the Owls took a loss in the championship round against the Golden Eagles, FAU is still the regular season champs after another 40-win season. Now they look to Monday’s noon selection show to see if they will be playing in the 2019 NCAA Baseball Tournament.

Zachary Weinberger is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ZachWeinberger