UPDATED: Correction to change losing pitcher.
BOCA RATON – Rice snapped FAU’s three game winning streak in 5-4 on Saturday.
Tied at four in the top of the ninth inning, FAU pitcher Eric Keating surrendered a one-out RBI single to Ryan Chandler, allowing Rice to regain a lead they’d already relinquished twice.
Down 3-0 early, FAU evened the score with a three-run fourth inning that forced Rice starter Zach Esquivel out of the game. After Stephen Kerr doubled a run in and Pedro Pages brought a second run home by way of sacrifice fly, Jordan Poore singled up the middle to score Kerr.
Rice second baseman Tristan Gray hit a solo home run to give the away Owls a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth. Jared Shouppe – in his second game back from injury – roped an opposite field double to left field to tie things at four apiece in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Marc Stewart allowed three earned runs in six innings, striking out five and walking only two.
FAU attempted a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning with a Tyler Frank single to left field, but the shortstop was stranded at first base.
“It was a good baseball game, they got the hit when it counted and we couldn’t,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “We had some chances, just weren’t able to get it across.”
GameBrowser: Rice 5, FAU 4
Moving Forward: Poore had a nice assist in the top of the seventh inning, throwing Ryan Chandler out at second base… Esteban Puerta drew three walks, part of FAU’s six. … Mark Nowatnick struck out three in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Sliding Backward: No FAU player had more than one hit.… Puerta, David Miranda, Steven Kerr, and Austin Langham combined to go 2-11 at the plate. …FAU struck out 10 times.
Key Stat: 2 – extra base hits by FAU on Saturday. Turning 40 percent of the hits into more than singles looks good on paper, but the Owls have shown this year that they’re best when they can rack up the extra base hits.
Up Next: FAU will try to take the rubber match against Rice tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for noon.