Baseball: Cooley cools off Rice to keep FAU’s season alive

After the win, the Owls will look to ride the momentum in the next round against Western Kentucky.


FAU Athletics

Nolan Schanuel (#9) swings at-bat during FAU’s victory over Rice University.

Jahsheem Benjamin, Staff Writer

The Florida Atlantic Owls (34-24,16-14 C-USA) picked up a must-win victory in the Conference USA Championship Tournament against the Rice University Owls (21-37, 9-21 C-USA) to send the 8-seed team home.

In the bottom of the second inning, FAU struck first with an RBI double by junior outfielder Spencer Rich. Four batters later, junior catcher Caleb Pendleton would deliver with a towering three-run homer to put the Owls up 4-0.

FAU would continue to give Rice problems with the help of senior infielder Jackson Ross, who hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the fourth, making it 6-0.

The X-factor of the game was FAU’s graduate pitcher Hunter Cooley, who pitched a complete game allowing one earned run with 12 strikeouts. The run Cooley gave up didn’t come in until the top of the ninth when Rice finally scored an RBI single making it 6-1 FAU.

With the victory, the Owls season will continue in another must-win elimination game on Friday, May 26 in a rematch of the first round against the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ at 6:30 pm.

Jahsheem Benjamin is a staff writer at the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @JBenzzofficial