With the Owls ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, FAU closer Cameron Ragsdale allowed two runs in a stunning 6-5 defeat to No. 20 Southern Mississippi.
After starting Southern Miss second baseman Matthew Guidry out on an 0-2 count, Ragsdale threw three straight balls and, after two foul balls, walked the freshman infielder. Though Ragsdale induced two straight outs by way of a sac bunt and a groundout, junior Mason Irby tied the game with a single before making it all the way to third base on error.
A wild pitch would score Irby to give the Conference USA-leading Golden Eagles their second straight win over the Owls.
The Golden Eagles seemed primed for another blowout win after scoring four runs off Blake Sanderson in the first four innings, but Weston Clemente and Drew Peden combined for four shutout innings from the bullpen.
Still down 4-0 entering the seventh, Jared Shouppe took a 1-1 ball over the wall for a solo home run against reliever Hayden Roberts. Despite loading the base against Roberts, Shouppe’s homer would be the only run that FAU would push across in the frame.
David Miranda began the eighth with a double, being joined on the bases by Stephen Kerr after the Owls’ second baseman was hit by a pitch. Shouppe was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for senior Sean Lasban.
A hero last Saturday with a game-tying home run against FIU, Labsan was unable to produce magic on Saturday and instead fouled out to third base. With two outs and the bases loaded once more, the Owls would bring a run home when Jordan Poore was hit on a 2-2 count. Eric Rivera became the fourth Owl hit in the inning in the next at-bat to make it a 4-3 game.
On the first pitch he saw, Tyler Frank avoided a bump and a bruise with a single to left field, putting the Owls up 5-4 for their first lead of the game.
GameBrowser: Southern Miss 6, FAU 5
Moving Forward: Tyler Frank drew two walks… Shouppe and Rivera had multi-hit days for the Owls.
Sliding Backward: FAU struck out 11 times. …Stephen Kerr and Pedro Pages each went 0-3. … Drew Peden threw 48 pitches in relief as a result of the bullpen being thrust into action early on Friday.
Key Stat: 4 – hit batsmen for the Owls in the 8th inning, all of which came from Southern Miss reliever Nick Sandlin.
Up Next: FAU will attempt to salvage the final game of this series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.