March 16, 2018
NORFOLK, Va. -The Florida Atlantic University baseball team never trailed in taking the 2018 Conference USA opener at Old Dominion, topping the Monarchs 10-5 on Friday night.
"The first inning really set the tone for us," said Head Coach John McCormack. "I thought Jake (Miednik) did enough to keep us in it, Blake (Sanderson) was really good, and the offense was tremendous. We used two pitchers (and) everybody offensively got in the act in some form or fashion, so it's a good start to the weekend."
The Turning Point
The Owls (14-4, 1-0 C-USA) took a quick 3-0 advantage in their first turn, with Tyler Frank singling, advancing when Joe Montes was hit by a pitch, and another single, by Pedro Pages, opening the scoring. With two outs, Eric Rivera hit a line drive single the opposite way for two more. Though ODU (7-10, 0-1 C-USA) got two back in their half, FAU scored the next five runs to pad the lead.
A three-spot for the Monarchs in the bottom of the fifth made it a three-run game, but the Owls' offense pushed a couple more runs across while their pitching counterparts buckled down. Jake Miednik allowed just a hit in his last inning, the sixth, while Blake Sanderson got the first eight batters he faced out, with a bloop single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth the only blemish against him. A flyout to center ended it, giving Sanderson the three-inning save.
- All nine Owls reached base at least once, and the team scored in double digits for the fifth straight game
- Frank, Gunnar Lambert and Rivera had two hits apiece, and Rivera both knocked in, and scored, three runs
- The Owls took advantage of a litany of ODU wildness: eight walks, eight wild pitches (including five in one inning), three hit by pitch and a balk
- Conversely, Owls' pitching did not issue a walk in a game for the third time this season
- Miednik struck out eight batters, and Sanderson added two
- Sanderson's three innings of work spanned just 34 pitches
Game two against the Monarchs is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, with Kyle Marman going against ODU's Brett Smith.