PHOTO GALLERY: FAU vs. UCF
WEST PALM BEACH – FAU overcame a poor defensive performance at The Ball Park of the Palm Beaches, to defeat UCF 11-8, giving the Owls a good RPI victory to add to their postseason resume.
Designated hitter Jared DeSantolo went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs, one of which came on a two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning which gave the Owls some breathing room.
“He’s sat on the bench half the year plus,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “When we needed him he’s emerged.”
FAU needed to rely on its bullpen on Tuesday. Working on a pitch limit designed to allow him to start again this weekend, starter Mike Ruff only pitched two innings, allowing two unearned runs on two hits.
Nick Swan came in relief in the top of the third inning and allowed a two-run home run to Tyler Osik, giving the Knights a 4-2 lead.
The Owls struck back immediately. David Miranda’s two-RBI triple in the bottom of the third followed by a Joe Montes grounder which allowed FAU to regain the lead, 5-4.
Joe Montes’ RBI single in the bottom of the fourth broke a 5-5 tie and FAU never looked back.
Despite the two errors, dropped fly ball by Gunnar Lambert, and poor relief pitching early on, the Owls were able to pick up their 32nd win of the season.
Reliever Jordan Poore stabilized the Owls at the mound, taking the ball with one out in the fifth and throwing 2 2/3 hitless inning to get the ball to Drew Peden, who earned his third save of the season.
“Jordan Poore picked us up, that was a really, really good performance,” McCormack said. “He settled down and got valuable outs, then Drew, has been really good for us these two years.”
GameBrowser: FAU (32-14-1) 11, UCF (32-17) 8
Moving Forward: David Miranda went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. …Gunnar Lambert went 2 for 3 with a RBI… Eric Rivera went 3 for 4 with a RBI.
Sliding Backward: Catcher Pedro Pages, the Owls’ cleanup hitter most of the season, will undergo surgery on Friday to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand, McCormack said. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season. …Zach Schneider, the Owls closer since the start of the season, entered in the fourth inning and pitched 2 and 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He did, however, earn the win.
Key Stat: 3:57 – time of the game, making the ballgame the longest contest in the two-year history of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Up Next: The Owls head to Middle Tennessee Friday night for their last Conference USA road series of the season.