April 24, 2011
Jonesboro, Ark. - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team couldn't continue its Sunday success and dropped the finale of the Sun Belt Conference weekend series at Arkansas State University 7-3 at Tomlinson Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark.
The Owls lost two of the three games in the series and now have a 24-16 record on the season. The team falls to 11-7 and still stands in second place in conference action. The host RedWolves improved to 19-24 overall and 7-11 in Sun Belt Conference action, and won their first league series of the spring.
FAU overcame an early 2-0 deficit to take the lead in the second inning. Junior Alex Hudak started the rally with a leadoff double. He came around to score when the ASU infield misplayed a ground ball from junior Joey Burkhalter. The Owls tied the game when junior catcher Mike Albaladejo hit a run-scoring single, and visitors went on top 3-2 after senior outfielder Andy Mee was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
However, the RedWolves answered with two runs in the bottom of the third inning to regain a 4-3 advantage. A two-run double by Todd Baumgartner broke the game open, and the hosts added an insurance run in the eighth inning.
Arkansas State starting pitcher Jacob Lee, the league's Preseason Pitcher of the Year, improved to 4-3 on the season with seven quality innings. He allowed the three runs, but struck out five batters and allowed just four hits. Reliever Daniel Wright recorded his second save of the season by tossing two scoreless innings.
Meanwhile, FAU starting pitcher R.J. Alvarez suffered the loss after allowing two earned runs in the four that ASU scored in the first three innings. He falls to 5-3 on the season. The Owls' pitching staff allowed nine walks in the game.
Six players each had one hit for the Owls for a balanced offensive attack.
Arkansas State's Baumgartner paced the host's nine-hit offensive attack, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs. Jordan Castaldo and Dustin Jones each had two hits.
The Owls will return to the diamond on Friday, April 29, when they begin a home three-game series against first-place Troy University, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Season and individual tickets of Florida Atlantic baseball are available by calling the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.