Baseball: Owls take 2-1 series victory over USF

FAU recovered from the loss on Friday, with back-to-back victories to earn their second series win of the season.


Nicholas Windfelder

Sophomore catcher John Schroeder slides to second base after hitting a double during the bottom of the third inning Friday night against USF.

Cameron Priester and Nicole Vogt

FAU baseball (6-1) earned their second series victory of the season this past weekend, winning two out of a three-game series against the University of South Florida Bulls (3-5). 

Game 1 (Friday, Feb. 23): USF 5, FAU 1

After two scoreless innings, fielding errors began to plague FAU, and they fell behind after the third inning.

Graduate left-hander Hunter Cooley, who got the start for FAU, allowed two runs on a fielding error in the bottom of the third. In the fourth, he gave up three more—first off a two-run homer, before an RBI single that put the Bulls ahead 5-0.

The Owls put their only run on the board in the fifth. Junior center fielder Spencer Rich led off with a base hit into center field, and scored on a double hit by sophomore catcher John Schroeder.

FAU’s bats went cold after plating their only run in the fifth, recording only one hit after that, which came in the ninth. 

Redshirt junior right-hander Brandon Smith took over for Cooley in the seventh. In six innings pitched, Cooley allowed five runs, two earned, on nine hits. 

Smith kept the Bulls scoreless in the final three innings. 

Senior designated hitter Mitchell Hartigan, led off the bottom of the ninth with a double hit into right field. However, two ground outs and a pop up to the shortstop left Hartigan stranded on second base, and sealed the 4-run defeat. 

Game 2 (Saturday, Feb. 24): FAU 8, USF 7

FAU bounced back Saturday night, evening the series at one game apiece thanks to a walk-off bunt laid down by sophomore second baseman Dom Presto. 

Presto wasn’t in the starting lineup, but after substituting for freshman Lucas Phelps he reached base on balls once, and eventually won the game with the walk-off bunt.

The Owls originally led by four runs after a 4-hit rally in the bottom of the third. Sophomore catcher John Schroeder and junior left fielder Dylan Goldstein both recorded RBI singles, and  senior third baseman Jackson Ross plated another on a fielding error after reaching base on a walk. 

Starter, redshirt junior right-hander Jacob Josey, got caught in a 4-run, 4-hit rally in the fourth, prompting junior right-hander C.J. Williams to be called out of the bullpen—who finished the inning before being pulled as well.

Three base hits to lead off the fifth loaded the bases for Schroeder, who grounded into a double-play allowing Goldstein to score.

FAU struck again in the sixth, scoring two more runs. Junior Nolan Schanuel, who’s batting .370 on the season, scored one on an RBI single before junior shortstop Armando Albert scored another.

USF tied the score at 7 runs apiece, after plating two runs in the seventh, and another in the eighth.

Junior southpaw Sam Drumheller allowed two of those on a sacrifice fly and RBI single. Redshirt junior right-hander Robert Wegielnik took the mound in the eighth and allowed the Bulls to tie the score on a solo homer to right field. 

Neither team broke the stalemate before the end of the ninth sending the game to extra innings.

The tie remained through the tenth inning until FAU put together a rally in the bottom of the eleventh. 

Ross led off the inning with a double hit into left field, and advanced to third on a wild pitch an at-bat later. With the game winning run on third, Presto laid a bunt down the first base line, scoring Ross to walk off the victory and tie the series at one game apiece.

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

Game 3 (Sunday, Feb. 25): FAU 8, USF 6

FAU secured the series victory on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Bulls due in part to seven different pitchers that took the mound for FAU. 

The Owls got their bats started early, plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior shortstop Armando Albert led off with a double and scored on a fielder’s choice hit by sophomore second baseman Christian Adams. Goldstein plated the second run of the inning on a wild pitch.

FAU scored two more an inning later, while the Bulls remained scoreless.

A huge inning by the Bulls in the fourth, worth 5 runs on four hits put them ahead by one. Junior right-hander Nicholas Del Prado allowed two homers during that rally, which caused sophomore right-hander Bryan Boully to be called out of the bullpen.

In the fifth the Owls answered back, plating four runs to take back the lead at 8-5. Senior third baseman Jackson Ross first knocked a two-run homer over the left-field fence, before Schroeder blasted his own two-run homer.

Both teams remained scoreless thereafter until the top of the ninth, when the Bulls plated a single run.

After taking the mound with two outs in the top of the ninth, junior right-hander C.J. Williams allowed an RBI single, moving the score to 8-6. On the next at bat Williams drew a groundout ending the game with an 8-6 victory for FAU.

The Owls will now prepare for another intrastate matchup with the University of Miami Hurricanes (7-1) on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

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