Estaban Puerta’s home run sparked an FAU comeback that saw Florida Atlantic take Game 1 against Rice 3-2 in the weekend battle of the Owls.
Trailing 2-0, Puerta tied the game in the third with a two-run blast to left field, his sixth of the season.
David Miranda’s groundout to second in the fifth plated Tyler Frank, giving FAU its first lead of the game and completing the scoring.
Alex House followed Saturday’s complete game at UAB with 5 1/3 innings on Friday. He surrendered both runs while striking out three to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Four FAU relievers combined to shutout Rice, allowing only two hits over the final 3 2/3 innings.
GameBrowser: FAU (17-7-1) 3, Rice (8-20) 2
Moving Forward: Jared Shouppe returned the starting lineup on Friday after missing more than a month, save a few innings, because of a hamstring strain. Normally a right fielder, Shouppe moved to left field to keep right fielder David Miranda’s bat in the lineup. …Aldrich DeJongh entered the game as a pinch runner and later singled in his only at-bat. …Cameron Ragsdale retired the side in order for his sixth save.
Sliding Backward: Left fielder Gary Mattis has been suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules. …Stephen Kerr went hitless in three at-bats, as did center fielder Eric Rivera.
Key Stat: 4 – FAU hits on the night. The Owls made the most of their scoring chances.
Up Next: FAU and Rice play the middle game of the weekend series on Saturday. Originally scheduled for 2 p.m., first pitch has been moved to the more traditional 4 p.m. start time for Saturday home games.