Baseball: Goldstein’s walk-off grand slam lifts FAU over No. 15 FGCU

On Thursday night, FAU took down the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 8-4 off the bat of a walk-off grand slam.


Erika Fletcher

Senior DH Mitchell Hartigan speeding towards third base against the

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

With no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, senior first baseman Nolan Schanuel stepped into the batter’s box with the score tied at four runs apiece. Looking to deliver a hit in a clutch situation, Schanuel was intentionally walked, putting runners on first and second base.

After another walk loaded the bases, junior left fielder Dylan Goldstein stepped up to the plate and delivered the exact outcome FGCU was looking to avoid, blasting a walk-off grand slam over the right field fence.

Goldstein’s walkoff lifted FAU Baseball (19-11, 5-4 C-USA) past the #15 Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles 8-4 Tuesday night, for the Owls’ second victory over a ranked opponent this season. 

“Just a strike,” said Goldstein on what he was looking for in his last at bat, after recording three walks on the night. “I was looking for one all night and they weren’t really coming to me. I knew there was going to be a fastball there, and I was just on time and hit it good.”

FGCU struck first, and early, with a solo homer off of junior right-hander Danny Trehey, who got the start for FAU and was pulled after the first inning. Schanuel, who’s .458 batting average ranks sixth in the country, tied the score at one in the bottom half with his eleventh homer of the season. 

In the top of the third, a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded plated a single run for FGCU, putting them back ahead by one. 

That lead would only last an inning, as the Owls rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fourth. FGCU’s defense which had held strong to that point, save Schanuel’s homer, conceded two walks and an error in the fourth; coupled with a pair of base hits, FAU turned those mistakes into two runs for their first lead of the game. 

Freshman right-hander Tyler Murphy took the mound for FAU and struggled in the fifth inning after retiring the side on three batters in the fourth. Murphy, the third of seven pitchers that would throw for FAU, allowed two runs on three hits, putting FGCU back ahead 4-3 in the fifth inning. 

Goldstein drew his third walk of the night in the top of seventh before scoring on a sacrifice fly hit by junior catcher Caleb Pendleton to tie the score once more at four all.

Both offenses would remain quiet thereafter, that is until Goldtstein took the matters into his own hands with his walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.

“Feels good,” said Goldstein. “One of the better baseball experiences of my life.”

The walk-off blast and a combined effort of seven FAU pitchers that allowed four runs on 10 hits and two errors led to the Owls’ second ranked victory on the season—the first since they took down the University of Miami Hurricanes 6-5 in February.

“What a great, great game,” said head coach John McCormack. “That’s a really good baseball team, and it’s a really good win for our guys.”

The Owls will now travel just south for a three-game series against their rival, the Florida International University Panthers starting Thursday, April 4. The series will be broadcast on 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