FAU Baseball: Owls split four-game series at UAB

It’s the first series FAU split this season.


Photo by Eston Parker III.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

The FAU Owls baseball team (18-18, 7-9 C-USA) went on the road this weekend, splitting a four-game series against the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) (12-23, 5-11 C-USA).

Here’s the University Press game-by-game recap of the action.


Game 1 (Friday, April 16, 2021): UAB 7, FAU 6

The Owls competed well with UAB for a majority of the game, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 7-6 in extra innings.

FAU opened up the scoring at the top of the third inning when sophomore infielder BJ Murray hit a single to right field, driving in senior infielder Wilfredo Alvarez to get the first run of the game.

The Blazers responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore outfielder Jess Davis first hit a home run to right field to tie the game, and then junior infielder Ian Ladner hit a double down the infield line to get the RBI.

UAB continued its scoring onslaught in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs to have the lead be 5-1. The runs consisted of two single RBIs from sophomore infielder Pate Fullerton and freshman infielder Chandler Simpson, and a sac fly by senior outfielder Colton Schultz.

After conceding the fourth run, FAU’s sophomore pitcher Hunter Cooley subbed out for sophomore Jackson Spiller to take over. Cooley finished with three errors and struck out only one batter.

Reluctant to give up early, the Owls started their comeback in the sixth inning with a sac fly from senior outfielder Bobby Morgensen, who drove in Nolan Schanuel to score FAU’s second run of the game.

FAU got another run in the eighth courtesy of an RBI single from freshman infielder Steven Loden, bringing home Murray to cut the deficit to two.

The Owls completed their comeback in the ninth with two sac flies by Schanuel and Murray, driving in Alvarez and junior outfielder Jackson Wenstrom to force extra innings against the Blazers.

FAU took back the lead for the first time since the third inning thanks to another sac fly, this time from freshman outfielder Victor Castillo as he drove in freshman infielder Cade Parker as a result.

Before UAB got its turn in the 10th inning, Spiller checked out to let freshman Braden Ostrander get on the mound for FAU. Spiller ended his day with two strikeouts, three foul-outs, and nine groundouts.

The Owls’ lead did not last long as the Blazers got the runs they needed via a sac fly from redshirt senior outfielder Zack Davis and the game-winning RBI single by Ladner, putting the game away for good.


Game 2 (Saturday, April 17, 2021): FAU 2, UAB 1

The first game of the doubleheader was heavily defensive-oriented as the Owls got the best of the Blazers in a 2-1 victory.

After two scoreless innings, FAU got its first run of the game thanks to an RBI double down the infield line from Alvarez as he drove Wenstrom to home plate.

UAB scored in the sixth once Simpson hit a sac fly to bring home Fullerton, tying the game at one run apiece.

Freshman pitcher Dante Visconti subbed out in place of freshman Sam Drumheller after an excellent performance. Visconti struck out five batters, had nine foul-outs, and two groundouts.

The Owls got the game-winning run due to a home run to right field by Loden as it was his first this season as a freshman.

UAB tried to get back into the game but a strikeout, a flyout, and a groundout did them in.


Game 3 (Saturday, April 17, 2021): UAB 4, FAU 2

The shares of the doubleheader were split as UAB took down FAU 4-2 to finish the doubleheader on Saturday.

UAB struck first to start the game with an unearned run by Simpson due to an FAU error by catcher Nicholas Toney and an RBI single to right field from freshman outfielder Darryl Buggs.

The Blazers added another run in the second inning due to freshman infielder Leo Harris hitting a home run to left field, extending the lead to three.

FAU woke up after two scoreless innings with Castillo sacrificing a groundout, bringing Loden to home plate to get on the scoreboard.

UAB got its final run by sacrificing a groundout from Davis, driving in senior outfielder Colton Schultz as a result.

The Owls scored their final run in the fourth thanks to Morgensen hitting a sac fly to let freshman outfielder Jalen DeBose get to home plate.

Redshirt junior pitcher Matt Sparling went off the mound after five innings to let junior Mike Entenza check in the game. Sparling ended his day striking out five batters and getting eight groundouts but conceded two costly earned runs that hurt the Owls in the end.


Game 4 (Sunday, April 18, 2021): FAU 5, UAB 3

FAU came through in the final inning to split the series, beating UAB 5-3.

It took a while for both teams to score as no runs occurred until the fifth inning when Fullerton hit a double to left-center field, driving Davis to home plate.

The Blazers added another run in the sixth thanks to Simpson hitting a double down the infield line, getting Fullerton to score as well.

FAU responded with its first run in the seventh inning due to Morgensen getting a home run to right field, earning his sixth of the season.

It took until the top of the final inning for the Owls to explode offensively. A sac fly by Loden to drive home freshman infielder Cade Parker, a triple to right field by Toney that gave him two RBIs, and an RBI single by sophomore catcher Shane Magrann allowed FAU to take the lead.

UAB got one last run thanks to an RBI double down the infield line by Mullins but couldn’t complete the comeback due to an excellent pitching performance by sophomore Javi Rivera.

Rivera pitched the entire game as he was instrumental in the Owls’ victory, striking out eight batters while getting 13 foul-outs and five groundouts.

The Owls continue on the road as they head to Miami to face the Florida International University Panthers on April 23 at 7 p.m., April 24 at 2 p.m. (doubleheader), and April 25 at noon. The series will be broadcast on C-USA TV.

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.