Baseball: FAU takes series over LA Tech 2-1

With series tied 1-1, Schanuel’s double secured the Owls’ victory on Mother’s Day


Nicholas Windfelder

FAU Owls warm up before their Friday night game

FAU Baseball (30-22, 14-13 C-USA) won their final home series of the season against conference foe the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs (26-27, 14-13 C-USA). 

After taking game one on the back of due partly to some needed relief from the bullpen, the Owls fell apart in a 16-inning marathon on Saturday. But they secured the series with a victory in extra innings again on Sunday. 

Game 1 (Friday, May 12): FAU 9, LA Tech 5

Louisiana Tech drew first blood, scoring the first run of the game in the top of the second inning on a passed ball but FAU answered back in the bottom half. Junior center fielder Spencer Rich led off the inning with a double, then sophomore right fielder John Schroeder sent him home with an RBI triple. Schroeder would then come home as well on a sac fly to give the Owls a 2-1 lead. 

In the bottom of the third, junior shortstop Armando Albert took advantage of a fielding error, reaching second on what would’ve been a groundout. After Senior third baseman Jackson Ross drew a walk putting two runners on base, senior first baseman Nolan Schanuel cleared the bases with a three-run blast homer. 

With the bases loaded in the fourth, Schanuel came up big again with an RBI single that scored two runs to put FAU ahead 7-1.

After holding the Bulldogs to one run through five innings, what was once a quality start for junior right-hander C.J. Williams began to unravel as he allowed three runs to score in the top of the sixth. FAU’s bats stayed hot in the bottom half of the inning as they matched the Bulldogs rally with two runs of their own.

Graduate right-hander Hunter Cooley came in to relieve Williams to start the seventh and he also allowed a single run to score, which slimmed the Owls’ lead to 9-5.

Junior left-hander Sam Drumheller and redshirt junior right-hander Robert Wegielnik combined to complete the last three innings and held the Bulldogs scoreless, securing the game one victory for FAU.

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

Game 2 (Saturday, May 13): LA Tech 12, FAU 6 (16 innings)

In what was the longest game in program history, the Owls still lost to the Bulldogs 12-6 to tie the series.

Following two scoreless innings, junior Logan McLeod got the Bulldogs on the board with a single to center field, bringing junior Dalton Davis to home plate. The Owls responded in the bottom of the third when senior designated hitter Mitchell Hartigan hit a double, sending Schanuel to home to tie the game.

The Bulldogs scored five unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings to push their lead to 6-1. The Owls’ bats got hot in the bottom of the fifth. Both Hartigan and Schroeder were walked with the bases loaded, pushing FAU’s deficit to three. Following both walks, Rich hammered an RBI double, sending Hartigan and junior outfielder Dylan Goldstein to round home. Albert’s solo home run in the sixth inning tied the game.

The remainder of the game was scoreless through the last three innings and into extra innings. By the top of the sixteenth inning, there were multiple pitching changes in the Owls bullpen. The Bulldogs then scored six unanswered runs in the top of the sixteenth inning to solidify the road victory on FAU’s Senior Day.

Game 3 (Sunday, May 14): FAU 12, LA Tech 11 (10 innings) 

In the finale of the Owls’ final home series of the season, the Owls won 12-11 in 10 innings to improve their record to 30-22. 

Ross put the Owls on the board early in the bottom of the first with a solo home run over the left field fence. Louisiana Tech responded in the next inning with four unanswered runs, before FAU matched with four unanswered runs of their own.

The Bulldogs’ 3-run homerun got them the lead before the Owls stepped to bat in the bottom of the fourth. Schanuel’s line out and Goldstein’s RBI double tied the score at seven apiece.

Three-runs in the bottom of the sixth got the Owls up, but went scoreless on offense a couple of innings later, while their defense allowed three-runs to tie the game again.

After a scoreless ninth inning by both teams, the game went to extra innings. Louisiana Tech’s junior Ethan Bates hit a solo home run, notching the Bulldogs up a run. With junior right-hander Greg Martinez pitching and bases loaded, number four on the batting order Nolan Schanuel stepped to bat. With his .456 batting average, “The Boynton Bomber” hit a single that turned into a double from an error by the second baseman, leading junior outfielder Jalen DeBose and Albert to score the game-winning runs.

The Owls will play their fourth game against Florida Gulf Coast University (37-14, 19-8 ASUN) in their final home game of the season on Tuesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Maddox Greenberg is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM via Twitter @MaddoxGreenberg and Instagram @maddoxblade04.