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Gomber commanding in 6-0 win over FIU


Gomber commanding in 6-0 win over FIU

Owls open series with shutout victory

Florida Atlantic opened up conference play Friday night with a 6-0 win over rival Florida International.

Austin Gomber pitched seven and a third scoreless innings, as the Owls (12-7, 1-0) picked up their sixth straight win over the Panthers.

Gomber (pictured above) was efficient, recording a season-high eight strikeouts while giving up just eight hits.

“Gomber was fantastic,” head coach John McCormack said. “It was a good team win and as I told somebody, there are only 29 more conference games to go.”

The sophomore left-hander gave FAU the advantage it needed to win the first game of conference play, as he didn’t walk a batter until the seventh inning. The Panthers (10-9, 0-1) had placed runners in scoring position, but Gomber was able to eliminate any threat.

The last time Gomber faced FIU, he tallied a career-high 10 strikeouts. Friday, he strung together near duplicate performance.

“It’s FAU-FIU. That’s the team I hate the most out of anybody we play,” Gomber said. “When you get a shutout like this, they start questioning their hitting and it makes our guys jobs easier.”

FAU found it’s offense in the first inning when Mark Nelson brought Nathan Pittman across the plate for a run. Mike Spano would follow up the score with a stand-up two run double before Nelson added another run in the fourth inning when he grounded out to score Brendon Sanger.

The Owls would tally two additional runs in the eight inning, while Kevin Alexander came in for relief of Gomber. Alexander struck out two batters and didn’t allow a hit the final two innings as FAU effectively shutout FIU for the first time in two years.

The victory came at an easy pace for the club, as the team was in control from the opening frame.

“We didn’t have to use a whole bunch of pitching and mentally there’s not a bunch of fatigue. Guys will walk away with an easy head. It’s always good to be at home and get a win especially with your Friday night guy,” McCormack said.

Gomber (7.1 IP, 8 K, 8 H, 1 BB) picked up his second win of the season while Nelson led the offense with two runs batted in. Spano went 1-for-2 with the double and drew a walk.

The teams will return to the diamond on Saturday and Sunday to finish out the series.

Game Notes:

- Freshman Brendon Sanger made his second consecutive start as the designated hitter and had mixed results. He recorded two walks and scored a run, but was caught stealing for the first time this season.

- Tyler Rocklein followed up his Wednesday night performance with a 1-for-4 outing. The right fielder knocked his team-leading seventh double of the season in the eight inning to score Ricky Santiago.

- Gomber was clocked by one scout in the upper 80’s and topped out at 92 mph. The lefty used a deadly change up that often froze batters in the box.

- The shutout marked just the second time all season that the Panthers had failed to score a run. FIU has five players batting over .300 on the year, but they failed to produce any offense against Gomber.
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