Florida Atlantic earned their first extra-inning victory of the season, defeating Troy 5-4 in 11 innings on Saturday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
The victory is the fifth straight win overall for FAU and the second straight against Troy as they can sweep the series tomorrow afternoon.
“After last night when you score 20-plus runs between two teams you’re bound for one of these,” said head coach John McCormack.
The Owls (8-4, 2-0) received another huge hit from Nick Delguidice. The reigning Sun Belt and Collegiate Baseball News Player of the Week hit the first pitch he saw in the top of the 11th over the left field wall for his third home run of the season to put FAU ahead for good 5-4.
“I was sitting first pitch fast ball, it was there and I got it,” said Delguidice. “I didn’t know if it was going to go out at first, but then when the left fielder got to the wall I knew it had a chance.”
After the teams traded runs in the top of third, FAU took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth off Mike Albaladejo’s second RBI single of the night. The sophomore catcher finished the game 4-for-5 with two RBI and improved his average to .326.
The Trojans (5-7, 0-2) retook the lead in the bottom half of the fifth with back-to-back home runs by Chase Whitley and Ryan Ditthardt to make the score 3-2.
In the top of the 7th, FAU mounted a two-out rally to take the lead right back. Anthony Mesa started things off by hitting his second home run of the season to tie the game at 3-3. Three batters later, Andy Mee ripped an RBI single to right field to pull the Owls in front 4-3.
Mee (1-0) came on to close things out in the bottom of the ninth but was unable to earn the save. Troy shortstop Adam Bryant took Mee to the yard to lead off the ninth and tie the game at 4-4. The blown save for Mee is his first of the season.
However, the right-handed reliever settled down to pitch a scoreless tenth frame, then slammed the door in the eleventh inning to seal the victory.
“That was a great college baseball game for both sides,” said McCormack. “I’m happy that we won and I’m proud of our guys, they kept battling. It was a great team win.”
FAU will go for the series sweep tomorrow when they send RHP Kevin Alexander (1-1, 6.08) to the mound to take on a to be determined starter for Troy. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. eastern from Riddle-Pace Field.