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Sy’s Walkoff Blast Lifts Warhawks Past Owls in 13

Jeremy Sy courtesy

Earlier this week the Sun Belt coaches voted Louisiana-Monroe’s Jeremy Sy as the league’s Player of the Year.

Today, the ULM shortstop showed why.

Sy lifted a two run walkoff homer to end a 13 inning marathon as the 5th seeded Warhawks knocked off #1 seed Florida Atlantic in the Sun Belt Conference baseball tournament.

Sy’s blast, his fourth of the season,  came off FAU reliever Ahmed Garcia (3-1) after Jeff Fuller reached when FAU first baseman Mark Nelson misplayed his pop up.  Garcia got Fuller at second on an attempted sacrifice and retired Les Aulds on a fly ball before Sy’s heroics.

The win placed ULM (30-27, 2-0) on the precipice of securing a berth in the finals of the tournament on Sunday.  A South Alabama win over Western Kentucky in the nightcap tonight would put the Warhawks in the championship game.

Sy’s homer was his second clutch at bat with the game on the line.  His two out single in the eleventh tied the game at seven after the Owls’ Nathan Pittman had doubled in the go ahead run in the top of the inning.

It looked bleak for the Owls (32-21) in the ninth inning, trailing 6-5 with two out.  But Mike Albaladejo’s double into the left-center field gap scored Geoff Jiminez and Mike Spano to tie the game.

FAU took an early lead in the second on Pittman’s sacrifice fly, but ULM answered right back against starter Kevin Alexander on a solo home run by Brandon Alexander and a two run blast by Corben Green.

The Owls came back to tie the game on Mark Nelson’s two run homer in the top of the third inning.  After that half inning, Owls coach John McCormack was thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Ray Gregson for arguing balls and strikes.  The Owls dugout had already been warned twice by Gregson.

In the bottom of the fourth, Green knocked in his third run of the day with a sacrifice fly, scoring Judd Edwards and giving ULM a 4-3 lead.  That held until the seventh when Pittman tied the game with his third homer of the year to tie the game again.

ULM starter Cale Wine pitched into the eighth inning, allowing six hits and four runs, three earned, before Kendall Thamm came in to get the last out of the eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth, Alexander and Edwards hit back to back doubles off FAU reliever Bo Logan to give ULM a 5-4 lead.  Edwards later stole home to make it a two run advantage.

Edwards had four hits to lead ULM’s 14-hit attack.  Green had three hits, while Sy, Joey Rapp and Alexander had two hits each.  The Warhawks, who were near the bottom of the league in hitting during the regular season, have 29 hits in their first two games of the tournament.

Pittman, Spano, Albaladejo and Kyle Newton each had two hits for FAU.

FAU will meet South Alabama tomorrow night, while ULM will take tomorrow off before meeting WKU Saturday night at 7:00.

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