May 18, 2018
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Down to their final strike and out in the bottom of the 10th, the Florida Atlantic University baseball team pushed two runs across to tie, and senior Kevin Abraham's 11th inning sacrifice fly walked off a Friday win to clinch the final series of the season over WKU, 6-5. The Owls go for the sweep Saturday, with first pitch moved up to noon at FAU Baseball Stadium.
"Down two, Richie (Nizza) comes up with a big hit," said Head Coach John McCormack. "Luckily we had (Steven) Revilla in motion, he goes to third … and the kid has a hard time getting a handle on it and we tie it. Zach (Schneider) was great, giving us a chance here in the bottom of the 11th, and it's fitting on Senior Weekend that Kevin Abraham gets the game-winning RBI after everything he's been through. It was kind of emotional."
The Turning Point
The Owls (36-15-1, 19-8-1 Conference USA) led 3-1 after five, but WKU (21-31, 11-18 C-USA) tied it with runs in the sixth and seventh. The Hilltoppers then scored twice in the top of the 10th on a hard-hit ball that ricocheted off FAU first baseman Andru Summerall and down the rightfield line. FAU countered with singles by Eric Rivera and Gunnar Lambert to start the bottom half, and had runners on the corners with two outs. On a 2-2 count, Richie Nizza roped a liner to center, scoring Rivera, and pinch-runner Steven Revilla had taken off with the pitch, easily making it to third, and then came across himself when the ball was mishandled by the Hilltoppers' centerfielder.
After a 1-2-3 top of the 11th, the Owls wasted no time getting the potential winning run on base as Cody Wilson doubled off the centerfield fence, his fourth hit of the game. Tyler Frank walked, and after a wild pitch moved both runners up, and a foulout, Rivera drew an intentional pass. On a 1-2 count, Abraham lifted a flyball to right, deep enough to plate the speedy, sliding Wilson, scoring his fourth run to send the home fans home happy.
- Both Wilson's four hits and four runs scored represent a new FAU career high
- Miranda knocked in FAU's first two runs, both Wilson, on a groundout in the first, and a two-out single in the third
- Wilson's 12th home run of the season came in the fifth, and he added two stolen bases. He now has a six-game hitting streak
- Lambert's single in the 10th extended his hit streak to nine, and he has reached base safely now in 20 consecutive games
- Vince Coletti allowed two runs on seven hits in his start, striking out three in five innings
- Jordan Poore threw three innings in relief, allowing just an unearned run
- The two runs in the 10th were charged to Drew Peden, after he had thrown a scoreless ninth
- The win for Schneider improved him to 5-1
The finale on Sunday, both of the regular season and at FAU Baseball Stadium, has been moved up to a 12 p.m. start, with Senior Day ceremonies ahead of time. For the last chance at tickets in 2018, call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit www.fausports.com/tickets/baseball-tickets.html.