Jake Miednik gave FAU everything it could have hoped for an more.
The junior lefty surrendered only two runs on four hits while eating up 7 1/3 innings, propelling the Owls’ to a 6-2 victory over Old Dominion that allowed them to stay alive in the Conference USA tournament.
“In a tournament like this you need that kind of outing,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “At this point it’s all hands on deck. For him to give us 7 1/3 innings, it was fantastic.”
No. 3 FAU will face Rice at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning and must defeat No. 6 Rice twice on Saturday to advance to the championship game. Rice beat FAU 5-3 in the opening game of the tournament.
If Miednik were able to find a way to pitch against ODU every week, he’d be an All-American.
The reigning C-USA Pitcher of the Week shutout the Monarchs in eight innings of work in his previous outing. His stretch of 15 scoreless innings was snapped in the eighth, with the Owls already holding a 5-0 lead. Miednik exited with one out, one run in and runners on the corners in the eighth.
“I was feeling confident,” Miednik said. “Once again, fastball command was everything. I had it today. My teammates were there to back me up. I’m feeling good and happy to help the team win.”
Weston Clemente replaced Miednik and immediately induced a fly ball to left that Eric Rivera dropped, allowing a second run to score – one that probably would have scored after tagging up even if Rivera had caught the ball.
After Clemente struck out Jared Young for the second out of the inning, McCormack brought in Drew Peden, who picked Kyle Battle off second base for the final out of the inning before even throwing a pitch.
“That was huge,” McCormack said. “We talked about it on the mound but I didn’t think he was going to do it.”
Senior Stephen Kerr alone nearly provided FAU with enough offense to win. In the third inning Kerr punched an RBI single to right and would later come around to score, putting FAU up 2-0. Kerr drove in Jared Shouppe with the third FAU run on another single in the fifth.
That was more than enough for Miednik who, after surrendering a lead-off single to Battle in the bottom of the first inning, didn’t allow another base runner until the seventh.
The loss eliminates No. 2 ODU from the C-USA tournament.
GameBrowser: No. 3 FAU 6, No. 2 ODU 2.
Moving Forward: Miednik struck out five and only walked one in 7 1/3 innings, throwing 94 pitches. …Tyler Frank went 3-for-5 and scored a run. …Peden rebounded from blowing a save last weekend against ODU to record four outs while facing only three batters, earning the save. …Austin Langham’s RBI single in the top of the ninth put momentum back on FAU’s side. …David Miranda drove in a run, scored another and recorded the Owls’ lone extra base hit of the day – a double to lead off the sixth.
Sliding Backward: Designated hitter Sean Labsan went hitless in three at-bats. …Eric Rivera made a nice catch at the wall in the seventh, but his drop of a routine fly in the eighth nearly cost FAU dearly.
Key Stat: 18 – consecutive batters retired by Miednik, starting in the first inning and running to the final batter of the sixth.
Up Next: FAU will play its third 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. Eastern) start in four days on Saturday, once again facing Rice.