The left-handed hitting DeSantolo roped a 10th inning double into the right field corner giving Eric Rivera enough time to race around the bases and score from first base, giving FAU a 9-8 victory over Rice in 10 innings.
“I called that I thought the right fielder was playing a little shallow and Jared has pull power,” FAU coach John McCormack said.
With the win FAU advances to the Conference USA tournament championship game in Biloxi, Miss.
No. 3 Florida Atlantic will player the winner of Sunday morning’s game between No. 1 Southern Miss and No. Charlotte at 1 p.m. on Monday.
The hit came well after 2 p.m. local time in a rainy Mississippi night. The victory gave FAU its first 40-win since season since 2015.
Worn down by their fourth game in two days and having burned more arms than desirable while coping with multiple rain delays throughout the tournament, including one after a half inning on Saturday night, six FAU pitchers combined to allow eighth Rice runs on 15 hits. That turned out to be good enough.
After replacing injured right fielder David Miranda in the previous three games, Jordan Poore drew the start for FAU, his second pitching appearance of the tournament. Poore surrendered one run in each of the first two innings then left with the bases loaded in the third.
Marc Stewart, ineffective in FAU’s loss to Rice on Friday, entered and promptly threw eight of his first nine pitches for balls, walking in two runs. Stewart eventually allowed all three inherited runners to score.
FAU battled, keeping the game within reach. trailing 6-4 FAU plated a run in the fifth inning but left the bases loaded.
Florida Atlantic appeared primed to answer the two run homer Andrew Dunlap smoked in the top of the sixth, putting runners on first and second with no outs, but Rivera grounded into a 5-4-3 triple play to end that threat.
FAU ended the game with catcher/first baseman Gunnar Lambert playing right field at 1:30 in the morning in the rain, where he dropped a foul ball.
Pitcher Weston Clemente, who recorded the final out of the ninth and an out in the 10th, pitched in his fourth game in two days.
DeSantolo, Joe Montes and Kevin Abraham all enjoyed three hit nights.
FAU forced the elimination Saturday night game by defeating Rice 7-4 earlier in the day.