FAU Fights Back to Stay Alive In C-USA Championship
Through the first 3 ½ innings of Friday’s night’s elimination game between Florida Atlantic and Louisiana Tech, the second-seeded Bulldogs were having quite their way with the Owls.
Then, Tyler Frank took the over the game.
Frank, a first-team All-Conference USA selection, cracked a three-run home run in a four run fourth inning that gave third-seeded FAU its first lead. Then, after LA Tech (39-20) tied the game at 5-5 apiece, Frank hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot, that propelled the Owls to an 8-6 victory.
“I can’t say enough, I mean, we’re down 4-1 and Tyler ties it and then Tyler puts us ahead,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “I can’t say enough about him.”
With Friday night’s second elimination game postponed because of inclement weather, FAU will take on seventh-seeded Rice at 1:30 p.m. in Saturday’s second game.
Friday’s last game between fourth-seeded Charlotte and fifth-seeded UTSA will now be played at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner of that game will move on to take on top-seeded Southern Miss at 5 p.m.
Tech took a 3-0 lead Friday in the second inning on a single by second baseman Taylor Young and shortstop Dalton Skelton a two-run single.
FAU (38-16-1) got a run back on a single in the third inning by center fielder Cody Wilson before Mason Mallard smacked his sixth home run of the season to give the Bulldogs a 4-1.
But in the bottom of the fourth, Frank hit his 12th homer to tie the game, and left fielder Eric Rivera followed with a run-scoring double to put the Owls ahead 5-4.
Tech tied the game 5-5 in the fifth inning on a single by Parker Bates, but Frank his 13th homer of the season to give FAU the lead for good.
“We ran into a good club,” Tech coach Lane Burroughs said. “They got a Team USA player out there and he got into two balls, a three-run homer and two-run homer. That’s the difference.”
Skelton had three hits and drove in three runs, Mallard had three hits as well. Rivera had three hits for the Owls, while Frank had two hits, both home runs, and five RBIs.