An impressive season for the Florida Atlantic University baseball team came to a finale Sunday night with a hard-fought 2-1 loss to No. 3 Florida in the Gainesville Regional. FAU earned the right to play UF after eliminating USF in an earlier game Sunday.
The Owls (42-19) finished with their best record since 2004, when they finished 47-17.
In the first contest, juniors Brendon Sanger and Roman Collins belted home runs to lead FAU to a 8-4 comeback win over USF in an elimination battle.
Sanger hit a two-run homer in the first inning before the Bulls rallied for three runs to take a lead in the third. After USF tacked on to the lead with a run in the fourth, the bats came alive for the Owls in the late innings.
Billy Endris singled and Sanger and Ricky Santiago walked to load the bases in the top of the sixth with no outs. Collins then blasted his seventh home run and FAU’s fifth grand slam of the season off the scoreboard to put the Owls on top 6-4.
FAU pieced together hits in the seventh as Santiago and Collins drove in runs to increase the lead to 8-4. Collins finished the year with a team-high 59th RBI.
David McKay picked up the win with two innings of shutout work before senior Bo Logan painted a masterpiece in the final three innings. Logan retired eight in a row before allowing a lone runner in the ninth, and finished off the game with his fifth strikeout.
Sophomore Sean Labsan dealt six innings of work in the second game, holding the high-powered UF offense to just two runs on five hits. Senior Reily Monkman and juniors Devon Carr and Seth McGarry each dealt shutout innings to close out the game.
FAU got on the board first as Endris hit his fourth triple of the year into left center and came in to score on a two-out, RBI single by Ricky Santiago.
The Owls, however, were unable to muster another hit until the sixth inning.
A leadoff double in the fourth, followed by an FAU error allowed the Gators (47-16) to tie the contest. In the top of the sixth, a walk and a single setup an RBI single to left drove in what proved to be the game-winning run.
The Owls put the tying run on base each of the final four innings, but were unable to get a clutch hit to tie the game.
UF’s Alex Fadeo earned the win, holding FAU to three this and a run with six strikeouts in six innings.
Endris tallied a pair of hits in the nightcap and was named to the All-Tournament team along with Santiago and Logan.