Baseball: Owls downed on the road by FGCU

After taking the first two games of the season series, FAU fell 8-7 Tuesday night to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.


Alex Liscio

UP stock photo of the infielders gather for a mound visit in the middle of an FAU baseball game. Photo by Alex Liscio.

Cameron Priester, Editor-at-Large

FAU Baseball (28-21, 12-12 C-USA) completed a four-game road trip on Tuesday night falling to the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles (FGCU) (36-12, 18-6 ASUN) 8-7 on the road at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla.

The Owls took down the Eagles twice in April before losing on Tuesday, but can still win the season series with victory when they host FGCU for the series finale on May 16.

Incredibly disappointing loss,” said head coach John McCormack. “I accept full responsibility, did a poor job tonight managing the bullpen. We had opportunities to cash in, needed a sac fly or a ground ball. But poor bullpen management cost us tonight.”

FAU struck early in the top of the first inning, as junior first baseman Nolan Schanuel singled before stealing two bases and scoring on a throwing error. FGCU equalized the score in the bottom of the second as FAU’s starter, redshirt junior right-hander Brandon Smith, allowed a run on a pair of base hits. 

Junior shortstop Armando Albert knocked a homer in the third, putting the Owls back in the lead until the Eagles’ sophomore outfielder Harrison Povey knocked a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth putting them ahead 3-2.

The Owls added four more runs in the top of the sixth on a two-run blast by junior left-fielder Dylan Goldstein and an RBI double by junior catcher Caleb Pendleton. That lead was short lived however, as FGCU answered with four runs of their own in the bottom half to take back the lead at 7-6.

In the top of the seventh, FAU drew three straight walks to leadoff the inning prompting Eagles’ junior right-hander Nick Love to be called out of the bullpen. Love minimized the damage, escaping the jam with a pair of strikeouts, but allowed the Owls to tie the score seven apiece on a passed ball. 

With the score tied in the bottom of the seventh, graduate left-hander Hunter Cooley was called to the mound for FAU. After taking over with a runner on first, Cooley allowed a double, putting runners on second and third. In the next frame, Albert was in position to make a play on a ground ball but overthrew Schanuel at first allowing the go-ahead run to score from first.

The Owls’ offense came to a near-complete stall in the eighth and ninth innings, with five of their final six outs coming on strikeouts to give FAU their first loss to FGCU this season. 

Now in the home stretch of the regular season, FAU will return to Boca Raton for a three-game series against the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs (25-25, 13-11 C-USA) starting Friday, before hosting the series finale against FGCU on Tuesday, May 16. Their series against Louisiana Tech will be broadcasted by C-USA TV. 

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