Baseball: Owls take down FGCU 5-4 to secure season series

On Tuesday night, FAU took down the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 5-4 on the road.


Erika Fletcher

University Press stock image.

Cameron Priester, Sports Editor

FAU Baseball (22-12, 7-5 C-USA) staved off the No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles’ (26-7, 10-2 ASUN) offense for a 5-4 victory on the road Tuesday night at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla.

The victory secures the season series after the Owls’ 8-4 victory over FGCU a week earlier, and marks head coach John McCormack’s 500th career win.

“It’s a fantastic thing for the program,” said McCormack. “I have to thank all the previous players and coaches and everyone that’s helped out. It has my name on it, but it’s something for everybody.”

After falling behind in the bottom of the first inning on a three-run homer, FAU rallied back in the top of the second to tie the score at three apiece. 

With two outs, junior shortstop Armando Albert knocked a base hit into right field scoring runners from second and third. Albert would then score himself on a single hit by senior first baseman Nolan Schanuel, tying the score at three.

Senior DH Mitchell Hartigan got the Owls on the board again in the fourth with an RBI double, before getting thrown out at third base, that scored two and put them ahead 5-3.

A stellar performance from the FAU bullpen helped make up for the homer in the first. Freshman right-hander Tyler Murphy took the mound for FAU in the second, and held the eagles to no runs and a single hit through four innings, while striking out three.

FAU’s solid pitching held the Eagles scoreless until the bottom of the eighth. With two outs,  FGCU’s sophomore second baseman Edrik Felix broke the scoring drought with a solo homer to left field, slimming the Owls’ lead to one.

Immediately after the homer, redshirt junior right-hander Robert Wegielnik was called out of the bullpen for FAU and immediately shut down the Eagles. After taking the mound with two outs in the eighth, Wegielnik retired four straight batters, three on strikeouts, to seal the 5-4 victory for FAU.

“Everybody threw well,” said McCoramck of the bullpen. “Murphy was fantastic, Waterbor was really good, and then [Wegielnik] was phenomenal at the end.”

The Owls will now return to Boca Raton for a three-game series with the Dallas Baptist University Patriots (24-9, 9-3 C-USA) starting on Friday, April 14. The series 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