Baseball: Owls sweep Harvard in four-game set

An 11-10 walk off victory on Monday night, secured the four-game series sweep over the Harvard Crimson for FAU


Nicholas Windfelder

Jackson Ross (left) hits his sixth home run of the season earning the owls two runs alongside Nolan Schanuel (right) against Harvard during the second game of the season on Saturday night.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

FAU baseball (11-6) returned to the win column after dropping five straight with a four-game sweep over the Harvard University Crimson (1-11) this past weekend at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.

Game 1 (Friday, Mar. 10): FAU 7, Harvard 3

Graduate left-hander Hunter Cooley’s dominant 8-inning outing helped lead the Owls past the Crimson on Friday night.

In eight innings pitched, Cooley allowed three runs on six hits with a season-high eight strikeouts. The three runs came on a solo homer in the fifth, and a pair of sacrifices in the ninth; But by then, the Owls had already taken a comfortable lead.

FAU struck first in the bottom of the second. Senior DH Mitchell Hartigan, who’s batting .321 on the season, reached base on a double, before scoring on a triple hit by junior second baseman Christian Adams. 

In the fourth came the Owl’ busiest inning of the night, plating five runs thanks to a couple of fielding errors by the Crimson that left them ahead 6-0. Hartigan sparked that rally with the second of his three base hits, an RBI single hit into right field.

The solo homer Cooley allowed in the fifth slimmed FAU’s lead to five, but the Crimson remained quiet thereafter until the top of the ninth. Harvard plated two more in the ninth, prompting junior right-hander C.J. Williams to be called out of the bullpen to close the game. 

Williams took the mound and retired three straight batters to secure the game one victory for FAU.

Game 2 (Saturday, March 11): FAU 11, Harvard 3

Another solid night from the mound on Saturday, helped the Owls secure the game two victory.

FAU plated their first run of the evening in the bottom of the first inning. Junior first baseman Nolan Schanuel continued his impressive run of games with a double hit into right field. Hartigan hit a single into right field two batters later, scoring Schanuel.

Redshirt junior right-hander Jacob Josey got the start for FAU and threw six innings allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts. 

That lone run he allowed came in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly. In the bottom half, senior third baseman Jackson Ross answered back with a two-run homer that left the Owls ahead 3-1.

In the fourth the Owls added four more. Sophomore right fielder Jake Millan led off with a single, and by the end of the rally, FAU had plate four total runs and led 7-1.

Their bats stayed hot in the fifth, as the Owls plated three runs on three hits to push their lead out to nine. Freshman infielder Patrick Ward kicked off that rally, knocking a solo homer, his first of the season over the right field fence.

Harvard plated two runs in the top of the seventh after sophomore left-hander Max Martzolf took over for Josey. However, FAU added an insurance run in the eighth as Schanuel blasted his seventh homer of the season moving the score to 11-3.

Sophomore left-hander Tyler Monzon took the mound in the top of the ninth, and retired the side on three batters, sealing the 8-run victory for FAU.

Game 3 (Sunday, March 12): FAU 9, Harvard 6

FAU locked up the series on Sunday afternoon, taking down the Crimson 9-6.

After two scoreless innings, both teams traded blows in the third as Harvard plated two in the top half, and FAU answered with three in the bottom half.

A throwing error on an RBI single hit by junior left fielder Dylan Goldtsein allowed two runs to cross for FAU in the fifth, moving the score to 5-2.

Both teams traded runs again in the sixth; Harvard plated two in the top half, while scored a single run in the bottom, leaving the score at 6-4.

Harvard tied things up at six apiece in the eighth off the bat of a pair of RBI base hits that brought two runs home. FAU quickly broke the tie in the bottom, plating three runs on three hits. 

Redshirt junior right-hander Robert Wegeilnik, who took the mound midway through the eighth, held the Crimson through the ninth, sealing the series victory for FAU. 

Game 4 (Monday, March 13): FAU 12, Harvard 11

Freshman infielder Patrick Ward completed the series sweep on Monday night, with a walkoff base hit in extra innings to secure the 12-11 victory. 

After the game went into extra innings with a 11-11 tie, the Crimson were held scoreless in the top of the tenth inning. Goldstein led off the bottom half with a double, before Millan drew a walk, leaving runners on first and second. The next batter up was Ward, who knocked a base hit over the third baseman, scoring Goldstein to finish the series sweep.

FAU held onto the lead for most of the game, until a 3-run , 4-hit inning by the Crimson in the top of the ninth gave them their first lead of the evening at 11-9. With the bases loaded in the ninth, redshirt sophomore second baseman Daulton Frank drew a walk scoring a runner, before Schanuel scored another on a ground out to send the game to extra innings.

The Owls had originally jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after a 3-run, 2-hit rally in the top of the first. 

The Crimson had their busiest inning of the game in the seventh, palting five runs on three hits to tie the score at eight runs apiece.

Redshirt junior right-hander Brandon Smith earned his second win of the season, after taking the mound in the top of the tenth inning, and holding the Crimson scoreless, to set up Ward’s walk off.

The Owls will return to action on Wednesday, March 15, hosting the Bradley University Braves (5-6) for a standalone game. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be broadcast by C-USA TV.

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