No. 1 Georgia lit up the Owls’ pitching staff while Florida Atlantic’s hitters couldn’t do much of anything against Bulldog hurler Tim Elliott in a 13-0 Owls’ loss that ended FAU’s season in the NCAA Tournament’s Athens regional.
Entering Sunday No. 2 Florida Atlantic (41-21) needed a near miraculous performance to live to play another day. Had FAU somehow managed to knock off national No. 4 seed Georgia, the Owls would still have needed to beat No. 3 FSU later in the day. Had that happened, FAU still would have needed to beat FSU again on Monday to advance to a super regional.
After Sunday’s result, the Owls are heading back to Boca Raton, where several of them could be selected in the upcoming MLB draft, which begins Monday and runs through Wednesday.
Elliott needed only 95 pitches to fire a complete-game shutout at the Owls. Andru Summerall and Wilfredo Alvarez notched the only two FAU hits. Elliott didn’t walk any while striking out eight Owls.
“He kept us off-balance all day and then their offense capitalized,” FAU coach John McCormack said of Elliott.
With the Owls depleted pitching staff in desperate need of a strong outing from starter Mike Ruff, the junior righty couldn’t deliver.
The Bulldogs struck for two runs in the third and three more in the fourth, will all five runs scoring via home runs. Five innings into the game, what was potentially Ruff’s final game as an Owl had ended.
“I thought Mike did okay, made three or four bad pitches and they capitalized on him,” McCormack said. “And then it just kind of got away from us and Georgia got it rolling.”
Dylan O’Connell allowed a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Georgia sealed the game with Aaron Schunk’s second homer of the game, this one an eighth-inning grand slam off Vince Coletti.
The grand slam was Georgia’s fifth and final homer of the contest.
Right fielder Bobby Morgensen and catcher Pedro Pages earned All-Regional honors.