Florida Atlantic clinches series against Bucs, 8-6
Florida Atlantic clinches series against Bucs, 8-6
Friday, May 19, 2006

(May 19, 2006) - Florida Atlantic scored two runs in four separate innings, and five Owl pitchers combined to pitch out of numerous jams, limiting the Baseball Bucs to six runs on 10 hits, posting a series clinching 8-6 victory Friday evening from FAU Field.


The Bucs (29-24, 14-15) took their first lead of the weekend in the first inning, manufacturing a run without a hit.  Senior shortstop Chuck Hargis (Powell, Tenn.) led off the contest with a walk, and stole his 10th bag of the year to move into scoring position.  A Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) groundout moved Hargis to third, and senior Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) drove him home with a sacrifice fly to right field.


Florida Atlantic (28-26, 13-16) ensured the lead was short-lived, scoring two runs of its own in the bottom half of the first.  After a one-out single from first baseman Tyler Stevens, center fielder Tim Mascia staked the Owls to a 2-1 lead with a towering blast over the scoreboard in right field.


The Owls extended the lead to 4-1 in the third, on second baseman William Block's two-out, two-RBI, bases loaded single to left field.


Leading 4-1 in the fifth, the Owls tacked on two more runs courtesy of back-to-back doubles.  Following Alex Silversmith's leadoff single, Anthony Albano sacrificed him to second, and designated hitter Mike McKenna drove Silversmith home with a double to left center.  Block followed with his third RBI of the game, another double to left center.


The Bucs rallied back to within two runs with three runs in the sixth.  After two walks to lead off the inning, senior Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) was struck to load the bases.  Junior Michael Courtney (Knoxville, Tenn.) drove senior Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) with a sacrifice fly, and junior C.J. Lee (Bristol, Va.) came home on a fielder's choice.  Junior John Weddle (Knoxville, Tenn.) drove in freshman Ben Allen (Kingsport, Tenn.) with a single to center field, pulling the Bucs to 6-4.


After the Owls answered with two more runs in their half of the sixth, ETSU responded with one in the seventh.  With runners on the corners and two outs, Traylor singled to center field, driving in Byrne and cutting the lead to 8-5.


The FAU bullpen preserved the victory, only allowing one run over the final two innings.


Freshman Darren Caldwell (Spartanburg, S.C.) fell to 1-1, giving up four runs in three innings of work.  Brandon Cooney (4-6) held the Bucs to four hits over five innings, picking up his fourth victory of the season.  Joel Schmal pitched the ninth, stranding the tying run at first base and picking up his first save of the season.


The series concludes with a 1 p.m. first pitch Saturday afternoon at FAU Field.  Fans can listen to the broadcast both through the internet and on WJCW 910 AM courtesy of the Mountain States Health Alliance Buccaneer Sports Network.