Baseball: Owls swept by UConn in three-game set

FAU dropped three consecutive games this past weekend to the University of Connecticut Huskies.


Erika Fletcher

John Schroeder slides back to first base after attempting to steal second on Feb. 25, 2023.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

FAU baseball (7-4) was swept at home in a three-game series this past weekend by the University of Connecticut Huskies (UConn) (6-3).

The Owls were riding a three-game winning streak, and coming off of a convincing victory over the #22 University of Miami Hurricanes less than a week earlier, before dropping three straight to the Huskies.

Game 1 (Friday, March 3): UConn 6, FAU 4

UConn took a 1-0 lead in the series, after a sixth inning rally helped lead them past the Owls 6-4 on Friday night.

Senior right-hander Hunter Cooley got his third start of the season on Friday, and retired three straight batters on two strikeouts in the top of the first.

A double to leadoff the top of the second would turn into the Huskies first run of the game. That run, however, would be the only Cooley would allow until the sixth.

FAU plated their first run in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded, senior first baseman Nolan Schanuel drew a walk scoring the runner from third and tying the score at one run apiece.

The Huskies bats came alive in the sixth, as they mounted a rally worth 4 runs on five hits to take a commanding 5-1 lead. After watching Cooley allow four runs in the sixth, head coach John McCormack called junior right-hander C.J. Williams out of the bullpen to start the seventh.

The Owls scored two more in the bottom of the seventh off the bat of an RBI double knocked into left field by Schanuel.

Williams plunked a batter with the bases loaded in the eighth scoring a single run for UConn. In the bottom half, FAU also plated a single run thanks to an RBI single hit by senior DH Mitchell Hartigan, which slimmed the Huskies’ lead to 6-4.

Junior southpaw Sam Drumheller retired the side on three batters in the top of the ninth, leaving it as a two-run game heading into the last half inning. However, the Owls also went three-up, three-down in the bottom half, sealing the game one defeat.

Game 2 (Saturday, March 4): UConn 5, FAU 1

UConn’s hitting down the stretch lifted them past the Owls to secure the series victory on Saturday night.

The Owls’ five base hits on Saturday is the fewest they’ve been held to all season.

After throwing two scoreless innings, redshirt junior right hander Jacob Josey allowed the Huskies’ first run in the top of the third inning on an RBI double.

That would be the only run scored by either side until the top of the seventh.

FAU struggled swinging the bat through much of their outing Saturday night. Through the first innings, Huskies’ starter graduate right-hander Stephen Quigley held the Owls scoreless without a hit.

Both teams scored a single run in the seventh inning leaving UConn ahead 2-1. UConn scored in the top half on an RBI single, before senior DH Mitchell Hartigan ended the Owls’ scoring drought with an RBI single in the bottom half.

UConn landed the first big blow of the game as their bats came to life in the eighth. A leadoff double sparked a 3-run rally for the Huskies that extended their lead to four.

Their several opportunities to score late in the game slipped as the Owls struggled to string together hits.

In the eighth, junior center fielder Jalen DeBose reached scoring position with a double before being left stranded on base. An inning later in the bottom of the ninth, senior first baseman Nolan Schanuel knocked a leadoff triple into the outfield; But, he too was left stranded, to seal the four-run defeat.

Game 3 (Sunday, March 5): UConn 8, FAU 2

UConn swept the series on Sunday afternoon, after the Owls’ struggles at the plate from the night before carried over to the series finale.

The Huskies struck first and early, as junior right-hander Nicholas Del Prado allowed a two-run homer in the top of the first inning, quickly putting the Owls behind.

Some solid plate discipline by the Owls helped the Owls answer back, as they plated a pair of runs thanks to four walks in the bottom of the second. That would be all the Owls offense had to offer, being held scoreless through the final seven innings.

In the top of the fourth, the Huskies broke the tie with a 5-run, 4-hit rally that saw three different FAU pitchers. Two innings later, they plated another run on an RBI single that put them ahead by six.

Facing an already large deficit, FAU struggles at the plate continued, and they were held scoreless to eventually fall 8-2.

The Owls will now  now prepare for one of their more anticipated matchups of the season, as they travel to Gainesville, Fla., for a two-game set with #7 University of Florida Gators. The series will start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, and will be broadcast by SEC Network.

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