FAU Baseball: Owls lose two of three games at Old Dominion

ODU outscored FAU 29-12 throughout the series.


Eston Parker III

University Press stock photo of sophomore catcher Caleb Pendleton.

Bryce Totz, Nicole Vogt, and Kevin Garcia

The FAU baseball team (25-16, 11-7 C-USA) continued its four-game road trip with a visit to Norfolk, Va. In the three-game set against the Old Dominion University (ODU) Monarchs (28-10, 10-8 C-USA), the Owls took one of the games.

Game 1 (Friday, April 22): Old Dominion 14, FAU 0

On Friday night, the Owls suffered their first shutout loss of the 2022 season. It also marked their second consecutive defeat.

The Monarchs wasted no time jumping on the scoreboard, plating three runs in the first inning with four seniors getting on base. First baseman Matt Coutney walked, left-fielder Andy Garriola doubled, catcher Brock Gagliardi doubled, and shortstop Tommy Bell singled. 

Old Dominion continued its reign in the second inning by adding two more runs. Sophomore designated hitter Robbie Petracci singled, sophomore right fielder Carter Trice doubled, Coutney grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice, and Garriola singled to bring home the fifth run of the game.

Senior left-hander Hunter Cooley allowed a two-run homer in the fifth inning before being pulled. Cooley was charged with his third loss of the season and earned seven runs on nine hits and three walks. 

Junior southpaw Evan Waterbor entered the game in relief in the sixth inning and yielded four runs via a grand slam. Sophomore designated James Tarkenton II entered the game for Petracci and walked, Trice walked, Coutney singled, and Garriola homered for the 16th time this season. The grand slam increased ODU’s lead to 11-0.

Redshirt senior right-hander Brock Helverson took the mound in the eighth inning for FAU. He conceded three runs on four hits and two walks. Coutney singled, sophomore left-fielder Josh Trujillo walked, and Gagliardi singled for the first run of the inning. Bell found a gap through the right side for an RBI single to increase the lead to 13-0. Sophomore third baseman Kenny Lavari walked and junior center-fielder Thomas Wheeler singled to center field for the 14th run of the game.

FAU combined for five hits and two walks in 32 at-bats. 

Bryce Totz is the Sports Editor at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected], or tweet him @brycetotz. 

Game 2 (Saturday, April 23): ODU 11, FAU 7

On Saturday afternoon, the Owls suffered their second loss to Old Dominion in game two of the series.

The Owls plated the first two runs of the afternoon in the second inning. Junior third baseman Jackson Ross hit a double and redshirt sophomore second baseman Steven Loden walked. Senior designated hitter Magrann hit an RBI double, advancing Loden to third and bringing Ross home. Loden later reached home plate after freshman right-fielder Jake Millan walked and sophomore catcher Caleb Pendleton smacked a ball to center field.

Old Dominion answered back in the third inning, scoring four runs. Sophomore designated hitter Robbie Petracci singled to right field, sophomore right-fielder Carter Trice singled to left field, and senior first baseman Matt Coutney walked, leaving the bases loaded for the Monarchs. Senior left-fielder Andy Garriola homered to left field, putting Old Dominion on top 4-2.

Old Dominion extended its lead in the fifth inning, plating two runs. Freshman second baseman Kyle Edwards reached on a throwing error and Petracci homered to right-center field.

The Monarchs added three in the seventh, all of which were home runs from Trice, Coutney, and Garriola. 

The Owls scored four runs in the top eighth inning. Sophomore first baseman Nolan Schanuel walked, sophomore left-fielder Dylan Goldstein singled, Ross singled, and Loden doubled for the first two runs. Magrann singled to bring Ross home and Loden scored via a wild pitch. 

In the bottom of the inning, ODU scored their final two runs. Sophomore third baseman Kenny Levari was hit by a pitch, junior center-fielder Thomas Wheeler singled,  Edwards grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Petracci singled. The Monarchs led 11-6.

The Owls added a run in the ninth inning.  Sophomore center-fielder Gabriel Rincones Jr. hit a single then Schanuel, Goldstein, and Ross each walked, leaving the score at 11-7 in favor of ODU.

Nicole Vogt is a contributing writer at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories email her at [email protected], or tweet her @nicole_nikkiv.

Game 3 (Sunday, April 24): FAU 5, Old Dominion 4

The Owls avoided a series sweep on Sunday afternoon when they defeated Old Dominion behind a superior game from sophomore left-fielder Dylan Goldstein. 

Goldstein got FAU off to an early lead in the top of the first inning, when he singled to right field, scoring sophomore shortstop Armando Albert. A walk from sophomore second baseman Steven Loden plated another run for the Owls. 

ODU quickly tied the game on back-to-back home runs allowed by graduate student left-handed pitcher Tyler Burnham. Burnham allowed just three runs across six innings pitched and struck out five batters. 

Scoring stalled until the bottom of the third inning when ODU launched another solo home run off of Burnham. ODU had seven hits for the game, four of which were home runs. 

After a scoreless fourth inning, Goldstein bolted a three-run homer to center field, scoring sophomore right-fielder Gabriel Rincones Jr. and sophomore third baseman Nolan Schanuel. Burnham pitched a perfect inning in the top of the sixth to finish his outing. 

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Robert Wegielnik was brought in relief of Burnham in the top of the seventh inning, where he completed a three-inning save to give the Owls the win. Wegielnik’s only blemish was a home run allowed to ODU in the eighth inning. 

With this win, the Owls improved to 25-16 overall for the season with a record of 11-7 in Conference USA play. The Owls next play a one-off against Florida Gulf Coast University at FAU Baseball Stadium on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on C-USA TV. 

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.