In what most would consider an unlikely scenario, Florida Atlantic earned its first conference sweep of the season on Saturday in a double header that was separated by just two runs and saw each game end in dramatic fashion.
And it would come against an unlikely opponent in that of #19 Western Kentucky.
“The guys just kept coming back and coming back”, said head coach John McCormack. “It’s not like we’re playing just anybody.”
The Owls (22-14, 12-6) won game one 5-4 and game two 9-8, and now move into third place in the conference standings.
In the afternoon’s first contest, Mike Gipson (6-1) threw eight solid innings for FAU while striking out nine.
With the game going into extra innings, a walk off single by Eddie Cassidy in the bottom of the 10th scored the winning run.
Andy Mee and Dan Scheffler each had solid performances with two RBI.
Game two saw the Hilltoppers (27-12, 9-6) gain an early advantage as Owl starter R.J. Alvarez walked the first two batters he faced and was then met with a three run shot by Alan Huck to put WKU up 4-0.
However, trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the third, FAU’s bats caught fire posting six runs.
Mee kicked things off with a two RBI single. A fielding error then allowed Mike Albaladejo (4-for-5) to cross the plate. Dan Scheffler connected on a two run shot shortly thereafter and a double by Nick DelGuidice accounted for the last run of the rally.
Ahead 8-7, Kevin Alexander’s appearance in the fifth set up the win for the Owls as he pitched four hitless innings and retired 12 of 13 batters.
Like the first game, game two ended in dramatic fashion.
Trailing 9-7, with two on and two out, WKU’s Jake Wells punched a double to left field off the wall that scored one. But pinch runner J.P. Jackson was caught overrunning third base on the play and was gunned out by Owls left fielder Colby Gratton.
“I don’t know how much that guy plays, but wires get crossed”, said McCormack. “The ending was unbelievable.”
Game two’s victory matches last season’s conference win total as the Owls finished at 12-17.
FAU will have the next two days off before hitting the road for a midweek game against Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday. First pitch is 6:00 p.m.
Box Score Game I
Box Score Game II