Rhodes Makes History Against Miami
FAU did just enough to boost it’s national profile Wednesday night. The No. 24 Owls hit, pitched, and held on late, to beat rival Miami 5-2 in Coral Gables. Sophomore left-hander Brandon Rhodes became the first pitcher in FAU history to beat Miami twice in his career, and Ricky Santiago hit a two-run home run to lead the offense.
Rhodes - who took down Miami last season on the road - tossed an efficient 5.2 innings of baseball, but it was the bullpen that kept things in tact. Bo Logan, Reily Monkman and Kevin Alexander all combined to finish out the game with a scoreless effort in relief.
FAU took a lead early the first inning when Santiago homered to left field with two-outs, and Tyler Rocklien drove in a run in the third inning to make it 3-0.
Miami, who is ranked as high as No. 11 in some collegiate baseball polls, didn’t manage a hit until the fourth inning, but it was the sixth frame that brought trouble for Rhodes. Back-to-back doubles scored two runs for Miami, and that challenged the Owl’s lead.
Rhodes (pictured) was replaced by Monkman, and the junior college transfer got out of the jam.
FAU added two more runs in the seventh courtesy of an RBI double from freshman Stephen Kerr. Billy Endris tripped rounding the bag on the same play, but a throwing error allowed him to cross the plate.
The win comes as only the 12th all-time for FAU over the Atlantic Coast Conference program, and the second in the last seven meetings.
“It’s a good opponent on the road, and we we’re able to win,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “The [NCAA] committee really looks at these things and this could help us come selection time.”
Rhodes (5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K) was making his first appearance since a mid-season injury last year, but showed no signs of fatigue. Alexander was awarded the third save his career, and was clocked in the 100’s according to one of Miami's staff members radar gun.
While the win seems monumental for FAU, McCormack put things in perspective after the game.
“It’s one game, one of 56 that we play. The one thing I try to guard against, is guys always try to make this game bigger than it really is. We play them two more times, and we will be at practice tomorrow and play again on Friday,” McCormack said.
The Owls (3-1) will host Monmouth this weekend for a three-game series.