FAU Downs ASU In Dramatic Fashion 3-2
The Owls took game one of an important conference series 3-2 over Arkansas State in dramatic fashion tonight throwing out the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth inning.
The win puts FAU in sole possession of second place in Sun Belt standings as Middle Tennessee fell to Louisiana-Lafayette 3-1.
Florida Atlantic (27-15, 15-7) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI single by Dan Scheffler until a solo shot by Sean Bukovich in the second made it 2-0.
Bukovich has just three career homeruns, and all have come within the past week.
Ryan Emery drove in Arkansas State’s first run in the top of the fourth, but the Red Wolves struggled to find any consistency at the plate.
Owl starter Ryan Garton (5-1) threw seven innings, allowing just one run and four scattered hits, as FAU improved to 9-3 in one-run games this season.
After Anthony Mesa scored on a wild pitch in the fourth to give the Owls a 3-1 lead, ASU ace Andy Ferguson would retire 15 straight as FAU’s bats went quiet.
“Their guy settled down and pitched well”, said Coach John McCormack.
The score could have been more lopsided, but FAU squandered bases load opportunities on two separate occasions.
“We talk about it all the time”, McCormack said. “But all in all it was a good night.”
The Red wolves (23-18, 12-7) mounted a threat in the top of the ninth when Owl closer Andy Mee walked the first two batters he faced.
With two aboard, Mee fielded a bunt to put out the lead runner. A fielder’s choice earned the second out, but the threat still remained at the corners.
Michael Faulkner’s ensuing single to left was then bobbled by Colby Gratton; which sent the tying runner towards home.
However, Gratton’s throw was on the money as catcher Mike Albaladejo made a game saving play with the tag.
"We had to take a chance with two outs," said Red Wolves coach Tommy Raffo. “He just put it right where the catcher could make the play."
“Colby threw a strike to home that won the game”, said McCormack. “What a good college baseball game.”
Mike Gipson will go for his seventh win tomorrow as the Owls look to secure the series. First pitch is at 4:00 p.m.