No. 20 Hurricanes Take Down FAU 5-4 in Extras
4-0 • 0-0 ACC
3-1 • 0-0 Sun Belt
|W||E. Nedeljkovic (1-0)|
|T. Palmer (1), C. Mack (2)|
|D. Thompson (1)|
|Murrell, Pittman, Rocklein 2|
|Fieger, Mack, Thompson 2|
February 20, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. – TheNo. 20 Miami Hurricanes won their first midweek match-up of the season in extrainnings Wednesday, taking down the homestanding Owls of Florida Atlantic by afinal score of 5-4.
With the help of a late offensive surge, Miami (4-0) was ableto pull off its first road victory of the year. Freshman David Thompson’s firstcareer homerun in the top of the eighth helped force extras, while Brad Fieger’s RBI single in the top of the 11th inning proved to be the gamewinner.
Thompson’s homerun, crushed over the leftfield wall off Owls’closer Hugh Adams, was the first of the Hurricanes’ season. The Miami, Fla.,native reached base three times on the night, including the decisive 11thinning, when he led off the frame with a walk. Freshman pinch-runner Chris Barr advancedto third on two groundouts, and eventually scored on Fieger’s single throughthe right side of the infield.
The game moved deeper into extras thanks inlarge part to junior outfielder Tyler Palmer, who saved the night with animpressive diving grab. With a man on second base and two outs, FAU’s LeviMeyer flared a ball into left field that had a chance to plate the winning run.But Palmer extended for the catch, snaring the ball just before it hit the ground.
Making his first career start, freshman Thomas Woodrey delivereda solid outing on the mound at FAU Baseball Stadium. The Lighthouse Point,Fla., native scattered seven hits through his 4.2 innings of work, walking oneand striking out five.
It was the hosts who struck first, notching a run in thebottom of the second inning on an RBI single from senior Nathan Pittman. With arunner on second and two outs, Woodrey allowed a walk to junior infielder SeanMurrell. After making an impressive diving catch in the first inning, Pittman thendrove in the game’s first run on a single to the leftfield gap. Woodrey escapedany further damage by inducing a flyout from catcher Levi Meyer to end theinning.
The Hurricane offense struggled early, as Owls’ freshman NathanRhodes set down eight of the first ten Miami batters. Fieger broke the streak witha one-out single in the third inning, one of only six hits allowed by Rhodes inhis first collegiate start.
Miami threatened in the fifth, as Alex San Juan (single) andMichael Broad (single) gave the Hurricanes two runners on with two outs. But aflyout from Brandon Lopez to shallow rightfield ended the threat. A two-run homerunfrom FAU’s Tyler Rocklein in the bottom half of the inning would signal the endof Woodrey’s night, as the southpaw departed with his team facing a 3-0deficit.
The Canes finally broke through in the sixth, as TylerPalmer opened the frame with a double and junior Alex Hernandez followed upwith a single. With runners on the corners, Mack hit a ball that landed justfair in right field. Palmer scored easily, but Hernandez was tagged out at homeon a nice defensive relay from FAU. Mack, who took third on the throw, wouldlater score on a wild pitch from reliever Michael Sylvestri, cutting thedeficit to 3-2.
After Thompson’s eighth-inning blast, the Hurricanes’bullpen bent but did not break to force extra innings. Junior closer AJ Salcinesloaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but senior Eric Nedeljkovic (1-0) induced agroundout of Rocklein to end the threat. The Folsom, Calif., native pitched twomore scoreless innings, clinching Miami’s fourth-straight win to open theseason.
The Hurricanes return to the diamond Friday when they takeon visiting Wisconsin-Milwaukee in a weekend series. First pitch is set for 7p.m. from Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.