Owls Offense Explodes Late in 10-3 Win Over #19 Hilltoppers
Rain held off the start time for over two hours on Friday night at FAU Baseball Stadium, but it didn’t stop the Owls from downing #19 Western Kentucky 10-3 to take game one of the weekend Sun Belt series.
Florida Atlantic (20-14, 10-6) scored seven runs in the final two innings of the game.
The delay had an impact initially as FAU starter Ryan Garton appeared out of synch while giving up two runs in the top of the second behind back to back doubles by WKU.
FAU would answer in the bottom of the inning with singles from Colby Gratton, Chase Vergason, and Nathan Pittman to even the score at 2-2.
The Hilltoppers (27-10, 9-4) briefly took the lead again in the third until Garton found his rhythm holding WKU to 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
“Garton really settled down after that third and gave us some great innings", said Coach John McCormack. “He just kept battling and battling.”
Pittman, starting in center field in for an injured Anthony Mesa, evened things up 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth with his first career home run.
Andy Mee, who went 4-of-5 with one RBI on the night, then blasted another to begin a five-run FAU outburst in the bottom of the seventh that chased Hilltopper ace Matt Ridings (7-1) from the mound and effectively put the game out of reach.
“The offense woke up. That was a huge home run”, said McCormack. “Matt Ridings is a very good pitcher.”
Raymond Church picked up his league leading 31st walk on the year.
The teams will meet tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in a double header which will be the first on the season for FAU.
Mike Gipson will be on the mound for the Owls.