“You know, it’s an offensive game,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “It’s no secret we needed to pitch better. Credit to Florida State hitters, they did a really nice job. The wind, they used the elements, we used the elements. We just have to pitch better.”
The loss is the sixth opening-round defeat for the Owls in as many tries under McCormack. FAU has never advanced from a regional after losing the first game.
The loss sends FAU into the losers bracket of the double elimination tournament, where the Owls will face the loser of the No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Mercer game played Friday night. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN+.
FSU (37-21) battered Owls’ starter Blake Sanderson for five runs in the top of the second inning and never trailed. J.C. Flowers led off the second inning by belting the Noles first homer of the day. Later in the inning Tim Becker, homerless on the season, launched the first of his two homers on the afternoon.
Ultimately six Owl pitchers surrendered 20 Seminole hits.
FAU didn’t score until the fourth inning when Bobby Morgensen hit the first of his two homers, a two-run shot. The Owls would score at least one run in each of the next three innings but never drew closer than three runs.
“I thought the turning point in the game was bottom of the sixth, bases loaded and we had nobody out,” McCormack said. “Throughout the year, we’ve been able to put up a crooked number, three, four. We were in a really good count, 3-1, and ground ball to first base, then the ball hit off [pitcher Chase Haney’s] foot and they were able to get an out out of it. We only scored two runs, and they got out of the inning. That really gave them some breathing room and kind of put us on our heels a little bit.”
Joe Montes’ homer in the fifth was the only other Owls’ round tripper.
Leading 10-7, the Seminoles sealed the victory with three runs in the ninth.
Sanderson fell to 8-3 on the season, with four of the six runs he allowed over five innings being earned. Reliever Hunter Cooley (1 1/3 innings) was the only Owl pitcher who didn’t allow a run.
Morgensen totaled three hits on the day, scored three runs and drove in four. Francisco Urbaez was the only other Owl to enjoy a multi-hit game.