Owls Go Deep Into The Night & Bullpen For Big Game Two Victory
[caption id="attachment_475" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="FIU Watchs Wilson at bat"][/caption]
When it looked as if the Owls would be unable to hold off the Golden Panthers tonight in a close game that went the distance of five plus hours at FAU Stadium, they found a way to get the job done in 12 innings. The final score was 10-9 in favor of FAU. The stage is now set for an important game three of the series tomorrow.
Florida Atlantic matched last night's fast start by jumping out 5-1 early on; only to see another repeat performance by the Panthers as well as they answered by scoring seven runs in the top of the fifth, taking an 8-5 lead.
The Owls would ramble through a myriad of pitchers including Garcia, Schmitt, Rooks, and eventually Troyaknowski trying to find one who could keep the game in check. The latter would prove the difference - in a big, big way.
There were some interesting moments during the mid-way course of the contest. In the third, FIU's head Coach protested Owl pitcher Ahmed Garcia's raised shirt sleeve and had the umpires check for foul play. Shortly afterwards, the Panther's Stropp hit what looked to be a home run ball that would end up landing in between the outfield wall and one of the draped banner signs. In the eighth inning Barry Rooks was ejected after protesting a late balk call where he kicked up the mound's dirt a bit too much for the liking of the head umpire. Momentum seemed to be going the Panther's way.
But, while down 8-9 heading into the bottom of the ninth the prize fighter's spirit returned for FAU. Troy Bubley made solid contact for a clutch double that would score pinch runner Tyler Herrig to tie the game at 9-9.
Enter: "The Marathon" of extra innings play.
And, they would go the Owl's way.
Florida International swung away in the top of the 10th, 11th and 12th innings in an attempt to produce some offense and seal the win, however Glen Troyaknowski was stellar while retiring all three sides behind a six strike-out performance (he had a career high nine for the night).
In the bottom of the 12th, FAU found its much needed second "wind" when David Wilson singled for his fourth hit (also a career high). Anthony Mesa bunted him to second, and that was all it took to get the winning run into position. Tom Hatcher smacked a clean double to center and Wilson crossed the plate for an emotional ending to an emotional game.
Florida Atlantic now finds itself in a good situation for tomorrow's final match up with FIU. However, after tonight's relevant Sun Belt action, latest scenarios indicate that they need to win this one as well. More to come on that.
Regardless of the play-off outcome, the Owls will look to finish off the regular season tomorrow with a win at home. Game three is scheduled for a 1:00PM EST start at FAU Stadium.