FAU Baseball: Owls light up the bases against Fordham in a three-game sweep

This marks the third straight weekend series FAU won to start the season.


Eston Parker III

#15 junior infielder Jackson Ross (left) celebrating with #12 sophomore first baseman Nolan Schanuel (center), while #1 sophomore infielder Armando Albert (right) watching.

The FAU Owls baseball team (9-4) hosted the Fordham University Rams (2-9) for three games this past weekend. The Owls won the series, taking every game. 

Heading into the series, FAU was 4-1 against the Rams all-time. 

Game 1 (Friday, March 4): FAU 9, Fordham 5

FAU pulled out with a 9-5 win over the Fordham University Rams on Friday night despite struggling to maintain leads in the first half of the game. 

“We’ve got to be better earlier,” head coach John McCormack commented post-game. 

Fordham took the lead in the second inning with a solo home run. Graduate left-handed pitcher Hunter Cooley escaped from a bases-loaded situation during the inning with no further runs scored. 

The Owls responded in the bottom of the third when sophomore right fielder Gabriel Rincones Jr. hit an RBI single into center field. 

Sophomore first baseman Nolan Schanuel followed Rincones Jr. by hitting an RBI double to put the Owls up 3-1. Sophomore shortstop Armando Albert and Rincones both came home and scored. 

This lead was short-lived because the Rams took back two runs in the fourth inning. Cooley allowed five hits in the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, FAU regained the lead once again. Junior third baseman Jackson Ross hit an RBI single and brought Rincones Jr. in to score. The score was 4-3 in favor of FAU. 

The top of the sixth saw a pitching change for FAU, with sophomore right-hander Dante Visconti taking over for Cooley. Once again, the Rams tied it back up with a run that inning. FAU did not produce anything offensively and the score remained tied at four apiece heading into the seventh.

The top of the seventh was quiet for the Rams, but the Owls cracked the game wide open when they were up to bat in the bottom half. Schanuel again hit an RBI double and brought Albert and Rincones Jr. home for the second time in the game. Sophomore second baseman Steven Loden hit an RBI single and got Schanuel to home plate shortly after. 

The Rams initiated a pitching change, but the Owls still held the momentum. Freshman designated hitter Dom Presto hit a far-reaching flyout, which gave Loden the chance to tag up and score. By the end of the inning, FAU led 8-4 against Fordham. They held their lead for the remainder of the night. 

In the eighth inning, Visconti handed over the mound to sophomore right-hander Robert Wegielnik after allowing two hits and an RBI. This brought the score to 8-5. 

Schanuel managed a walk during his at-bat that inning and made the most of it. He stole two bases after an error by the Rams. Loden hit a flyout and Schanuel scored, capping off a dominant outing for the first baseman. 

“The encouraging thing is Nolan Schanuel had some really good at-bats tonight,” said McCormack.

Nicholas Montante is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or tweet him @nickmontante1.

Game 2 (Saturday, March 5): FAU 15, Fordham 10

Following Friday night’s game, FAU stood its ground with a second win over the Rams on Saturday. 

The Owls were off to a rough start when the Rams took the early 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, thanks to runs from infielder graduate C.J. Vasquez, and outfielders freshman Sebastian Mexico and senior Jason Coules.

FAU bounced back with sophomore first baseman Nolan Schanuel’s home run, allowing sophomore shortstop Armando Albert to score on the play. The Owls then took the lead 4-3 with a double hit down right field from sophomore designated hitter Caleb Pendleton.

This was Pendleton’s first game in about two weeks due to undisclosed reasons. His double hit allowed rookie-sophomore, second baseman Steven Loden along with rookie-freshman, third baseman Jackson Ross to score the two runs.

The Owls didn’t stop there, further extending their lead to 7-3 with runs from sophomore right fielder Gabriel Rincones Jr, sophomore center-fielder Jalen DeBose, and junior catcher Shane Magrann. 

In the sixth inning, Fordham fought back and plated three runs to make the game 7-6. FAU instantly replied and scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning and then five more in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 14-6 lead with just two innings left to play. 

“[We] were able to get some hits.  The guys do a good job of taking runs, as you see we needed it at the game,” said Coach John McCormack. “[We’re] really happy when we’re getting walks and getting balls in gaps then we’re going to be really good so we were able to do that tonight.”

Complacency was most likely an issue for the Owls as they allowed the Rams to score four more runs by the top of the ninth, where Fordham slowly closed the gap 15-10. 

“We were able to get some two-out hits, scoring six runs with two outs. We are pretty good at that, or have been so far this year. But we have to be better,” McCormack said. “We walked six and hit three and didn’t complete a double play early in the game that could have gotten us out of an inning.”

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi is a staff writer at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or tweet him @mattaguilarUP.

Game 3 (Sunday, March 6): FAU 10, Fordham 3

The Owls did not take long to get on the scoreboard, getting two runs in the first inning with a sac fly from sophomore infielder Nolan Schanuel and sophomore outfielder Dylan Goldstein receiving an RBI walk with the bases loaded.

Fordham responded in the second inning, with sophomore infielder Nico Boza hitting a solid home run to right field to reduce FAU’s lead to one. FAU regained its lead in the bottom of the second with Schanuel getting a double down right field, driving sophomore outfielder Gabriel Rincones Jr. to home plate.

Pitching for two innings, graduate left-hander Tyler Burnham stepped off the mound for redshirt senior right-hander Jacob Josey to check in. Burnham had 50 pitches, five strikeouts, and a flyout.

Thanks to Goldstein batting a single up the middle that drove home redshirt sophomore infielder Steven Loden, FAU scored for the third straight inning to continue its offensive consistency.

As the Rams remained scoreless for four consecutive innings, the Owls expanded their lead to five in the fifth inning following a single to right field from Schanuel who got two RBIs as a result. 

In the sixth inning, FAU added three more runs to have a 9-1 advantage. Goldstein hit a triple down right field to bring home sophomore catcher Caleb Pendleton and Loden, while freshman catcher John Schroeder sacrificed a groundout to do the same for Goldstein.

After shutting down the Fordham offense for four innings, Josey subbed out in place of sophomore right-hander Sam Drumheller. Josey threw 57 pitches, struck out four batters, and had four groundouts and flyouts each.

“I thought [Josey] was good. He did what he had to do,” head coach John McCormack said. “It was good for him to get out there and have success in that way [so] we can kind of keep the ball rolling.”

The Rams got a run back thanks to junior infielder Will Findlay nailing a single to left field that helped junior infielder Zach Selinger get to home plate. Despite that, FAU reverted the lead to eight following a wild pitch from Fordham that paved the way for Loden to reach home.

Drumheller had a cameo of one inning before redshirt sophomore left-hander Marc DeGusipe stepped on the mound in his place. Drumheller only pitched 16 times for two flyouts and a groundout.

After conceding a home run to left field in the final inning, DeGusipe did not worry about much as he secured a strikeout, a flyout, and a groundout to seal the three-game sweep in favor of FAU.

“As we could see, everything and anything happens in these games so we’ve got to be ready to play,” McCormack said. 

The Owls’ next game will be in Port Charlotte, Fla., as they have an encounter with Seton Hall University on March 8 at 3 p.m. The broadcast has yet to be announced.

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