Owls Beat Canes 6-1
Buckley’s HR helps carry FAU past Miami
Florida Atlantic beat Miami for only the 11th time in school history Wednesday night, winning 6-1 in Coral Gables.
Robert Buckley hit a three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, as the Owls secured a resume-boosting win.
FAU (16-9, 4-2) got a solid performance from starter Seth McGarry who gave up just two hits in three innings of work. The freshman struck out three batters before fellow underclassman Brandon Rhodes relived him in the fourth inning and continued the strong start.
“It worked out well,” head coach John McCormack said. “You couldn’t have drawn it up any better. They (the pitching staff) gave up just a few hits and we got the big hit.”
The Hurricanes (19-9, 4-5) would be held to just seven hits on the night, as the Owl’s pitchers proved effective against the opposing lineup.
Buckley’s clutch at-bat came in the top of the fifth inning after FAU had constructed a 3-1 lead. The junior second baseman, who was starting just his ninth game of the season, hit a ball deep over the right field wall to drive in three runs.
The home run was only the second of Buckley’s career but came at a key moment, as McCormack had just replaced McGarry with Rhodes.
“I had been struggling at the plate and I was just looking for something I could drive and he left me a fastball in, which I just let go,” Buckley said.
Buckley finished the night 1-for-3, while Mitch Morales went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Mark Nelson, Levi Meyer and Tyler Rocklein would all drive in runs for the Owls, as Nathan Pittman crossed the plate twice.
Miami was able to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning with just one out, but Kevin Alexander would get out of the jam without surrendering a run. Five different pitchers combined in the winning effort for FAU with Rhodes (3-1) being awarded the victory.
Reliever Thomas Woodrey was handed the loss for the Hurricanes, as starter Javi Salas allowed three runs in five innings of work.
“Down here the committee looks at these things,” McCormack said of the win. “To go on the road and win is big especially with the new RPI formula - so it becomes that much more important. We’re a long way from talking to the committee, we have a lot of work to do,”
The Owls will host a crucial series this weekend against No. 24 South Alabama, who owns a 22-4 (5-1) record.
Notes: Kyle Miller tossed a scoreless inning of relief along with Mike Sylvestri… Nathan Pittman was hit by a pitch early in the contest but remained in the game. He is expected to play in this weekend’s series… Brandon Sanger started in right field, but went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts… The win in Coral Gables is the first for the program in over two years. FAU will look to take the series from the Hurricanes on April 4th.
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