[caption id="attachment_697" align="alignleft" width="362" caption="Owls pitcher Mike Gipson"][/caption]
2009 Season Comes To A Close
The motivation was there and the stage was set for today's rematch show down with Middle Tennessee. Just two days ago, FAU took on the Blue Raiders and were mercy ruled in a 12-2 loss that left the Owls stinging. And they were looking for the upset today.
But MTSU had other plans, as the Owls tournament run ended with it's second loss by a final score of 12-7.
"We had opportunities to come back...I would have liked to go out a little better", said Senior Travis Ozga, who closed his FAU career with a solo shot in the top of the ninth inning for what would be the Owls last run of the season.
The Blue Raiders got off to another hot start, mimicking game one, when they scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning behind an Owl throwing error by third baseman Sean Bukovich.
However, FAU would answer back with three runs of their own in the top half of the third inning that saw back to back singles, a bunt call being overruled by the home plate umpire and, a clutch double by Owl's catcher Mike Albaladejo, who was three for three with two walks today.
The Blue Raiders were consistent on both sides of the ball, adding 4 runs and holding the Owls scoreless over the next three innings to secure the winning advantage.
Florida Atlantic added a run in the top of the seventh to close the gap to four runs, and threatened to score more with the bases loaded. However, Colby Gratton, who was called in to pinch hit for Troy Bubley, grounded out to end the side.
They would add another two on back to back singles by Albaladejo and Griffiths scoring Sean Bukovich and David Wilson.
Coach McCormack strategically went to the pen in attempts to close the gap further by holding MTSU's hot bats at bay. He tapped Owl reliever Glenn Troyaknowski for the duties, but a two run blast put the Blue Raiders out of further striking distance.
A lead off walk followed by a triple in the corner allowed MTSU two more in the bottom of the eighth.
Adam Morrison took the loss for FAU while MTSU's Chad Edwards got the win.
The Owls finish the year by making it their 11th straight season to win 30 or more games.
Rain delays lasting twelve minutes in duration broke up the action on two separate occasions.
A loyal and talented Steve Bishop served his final game as FAU Baseball's radio announcer. He's a class act, and fans will miss him. "I certainly am appreciative of the opportunity", offered Bishop as he closed out today's broadcast.
Ironically, FAU ended the Raiders season last year with an inverse of today's result; a 12-7 victory for the Owls.