Published On: Wed, May 31st, 2017

FAU’s Postseason Run Comes to an End

By: Michael Demyan

The Florida Atlantic University baseball team has put on their cleats for the final time this season.

The Owls lost to Rice 13-2 Saturday morning, eliminating them from the Conference USA Baseball Championship. Two days later, the team then found out that they were not selected to appear in the NCAA Tournament.

Rice got off to a quick offensive start to Saturday’s game at MGM Park in Mississippi. After shortstop Ford Proctor doubled with one out in the first, Dane Myers followed with a two-run homer to left field.

FAU starting pitcher Cameron Ragsdale worked through a fairly painless second and retired the first two batters in the third before hitting Dominic DiCaprio with a pitch. That allowed Tristan Gray to come to the plate and hit a two-run home run to right, extending their lead to 4-0.

With Ragsdale out of the game, Rice brought 11 batters to the plate in the fourth thanks to five hits and multiple defensive blunders from the Owls. The result was six runs, with four being unearned and FAU was left trailing 10-0.

Stephen Kerr tried to breath some life into the Owls’ offense with a solo home run to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Frank and David Miranda followed with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no outs, but a double play and lineout ended the run.

Unfortunately for FAU, Rice had not finished scoring, as they added on three more runs in the fifth to bring the score to 13-1.

FAU relief pitchers Sean Labsan and Nick Prather each had a perfect inning and Kerr hit his second home run of the game, but Rice (30-29) went on to clinch the game in seven innings due to the mercy rule.

“We just ran into a buzzsaw,” Head Coach John McCormack said. “Rice has really been playing well down the stretch. We didn’t pitch great but I didn’t think we pitched terrible. I was talking to the home plate umpire and he said our guys made some good pitches, they’re just on a roll. You see that in these tournaments.”

The loss marked the end of the road for the Owls this season, who finished with a 35-21-1 record. After losing five of six earlier in the month, they were able to take the victory in three of their last four regular season games, but it just was not enough for them to be selected for this year’s NCAA Tournament. It will be the first time they do not appear since 2014.

Now the returning players and Coach McCormack will be looking to build on their accomplishments from this season to come back for a better and stronger 2018.

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