FAU Baseball: Owls drop three-game series against UAB over the weekend

Despite dropping two games, FAU outscored UAB 22-18.


Nicholas Windfelder

Photo of FAU’s baseball team celebrating in the dugout on Friday, April 8 by pouring water on #10 freshman catcher John Schroeder.

The FAU Owls baseball team (21-12, 7-5 C-USA) hosted the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers (21-10, 7-5 C-USA) for a three-game set over the weekend. FAU lost two of the games.

Game 1 (Friday, April 8): UAB 4, FAU 3

FAU suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Blazers on Friday night. 

The Owls had a rough start in the first inning. Starting senior left-handed pitcher Hunter Cooley allowed a walk to redshirt senior first baseman John Sears and a single from junior designated hitter Christian Hall. With two runners on base, senior right-fielder Caleb Floyd stepped up to hit a three-run screamer, giving the Blazers an early 3-0 lead.

FAU registered just one hit across the first four innings. In the bottom of the fourth, sophomore left-fielder Dylan Goldstein hit his first home run of the season, with sophomore first baseman Nolan Schanuel also on base. This shortened UAB’s lead to 3-2.

The remaining innings were quiet with not much action taking place from either team. In the ninth inning,  Sears ran to home plate safely after Floyd smacked a sac fly, extending the Blazers’ lead to 4-2. 

In the bottom of the ninth, Schanuel hit a solo home run over right field, shortening the gap to 4-3. FAU couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities, as the next three batters all flew out: Goldstein, redshirt sophomore second baseman Steven Loden, and junior third baseman Jackson Ross.

“I thought our guys played well but we just need to be better in the little things,” said head coach John McCormack. “We had some opportunities to drive runs in and we didn’t do it. We’ve got to be better.”

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 2 (Saturday, April 9): UAB 8, FAU 6 

FAU lost consecutive games at home to UAB.

The Owls looked to bounce back after losing Friday’s series opener against UAB, but could not keep up with the Blazers’ bats on Saturday. 

FAU started the scoring in the first inning when sophomore left-fielder Dylan Goldstein drove in a run on an RBI single. UAB followed up with three runs in the third inning after a two-run homer and a run scored on an RBI single.

In the bottom half of the third inning, FAU avenged the two runs given up. Sophomore right-fielder Gabriel Rincones Jr. launched a solo home run to make the score 3-2. Following the homer, sophomore second baseman Steven Loden bolted a single to center field, scoring sophomore first baseman Nolan Schanuel who was on second base.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Tibur Rivero survived the onslaught in the third inning but didn’t get any of UAB’s batters out in the fourth inning. He was pulled from the game after giving up an RBI single and allowing a runner to score on a wild pitch. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Marc DeGusipe came to the mound in relief and earned one run over two innings. FAU trailed 6-3 at the end of four innings.

Rincones Jr. smashed a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth for his second home run of the game to cut UAB’s lead to 6-5. With two home runs, Rincones Jr. now leads the team with 10 for the season. Senior designated hitter Shane Magrann tied the game at six apiece on a single to right field. The Owls then yielded two more runs to UAB in the seventh and eighth innings. 

FAU could not mount any offense throughout the last two innings as UAB held on for the road win. Rincones Jr. paced the Owls in offense with two hits, both home runs, and a game-high five RBIs. 

Kevin Garcia is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him @[email protected], or tweet him @kevingar658.

Game 3 (Sunday, April 10): FAU 13, UAB 6  

FAU avoided the series sweep with a 13-6 victory over the Blazers in the series finale Sunday afternoon.

The Owls’ bats were hot from the first pitch as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single from sophomore outfielder Gabriel Rincones Jr. and a three-run homer from sophomore left-fielder Dylan Goldstein, his ninth of the season. 

In the top of the second, UAB plated their first run of the game on a solo homer from left fielder Caleb Floyd.

FAU had another explosive inning on offense in the bottom of the second, adding two more runs on back-to-back homers from Rincones Jr. and sophomore first baseman Nolan Schanuel, putting the Owls ahead 6-1. That marks Rincones’ twelfth and Schanuel’s eleventh homer of the season.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, Rincones Jr. drew a walk, extending the Owls’ lead to 7-1.

The Owls stayed hot on offense, plating five more runs in the bottom of the fourth. A sac fly by sophomore catcher Caleb Pendleton and a throwing error extended the lead to 9-1. That was followed with a single for two RBIs from Rincones Jr., his fifth run driven in of the game, and an RBI double by Schanuel, leaving the Owls’ lead at 12-1.

Redshirt senior right-hander Jacob Josey was called out of the bullpen in the top of the sixth to take over for graduate left-hander Tyler Burnham. In five complete innings, Burnham threw 70 pitches and allowed one run on two hits.

UAB added another run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single down the right field line, slimming the Owls’ lead to 12-2.

The Blazers finally put together some solid output offensively in the top of the seventh, adding four runs on a pair of two RBI doubles, making the score 12-6.

The seventh inning was also the end of the night for Josey as sophomore left-hander Sam Drumheller took the mound for FAU midway through the inning. In 1 ⅔ innings, Josey threw 58 pitches allowing five runs on five hits. 

Senior catcher Shane Magrann added an insurance run for the Owls in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI groundout to second base with no answer from the Blazers in the ninth, leaving FAU with a 13-6 victory. 

Cameron Priester is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron.