Top Seeded Florida Atlantic Survives 4-3
An errant pickoff throw in the bottom of the ninth inning allowed Nathan Pittman to score the winning run from second base, as top-seeded Florida Atlantic edged #8 seed Western Kentucky 4-3 to wrap up the first day of play at the Sun Belt Conference baseball tournament at Bowling Green ballpark in Bowling Green, KY.
Pittman led off the ninth inning by drawing a walk off losing pitcher Taylor Haydel (4-5). Mike Albaladejo followed with a single, moving Pittman to second. Haydel then threw wildly on a pickoff attempt at first, allowing Pittman to scamper home with the game winner.
WKU (24-32, 0-1)) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on two-out RBI singles by Ryan Hutchison and Casey Dykes off Owls starter Ryan Garton. But the Owls (32-20, 1-0) struck back in the fourth against Hilltoppers’ starter Austin Clay. A two-out, two run double by Mark Nelson tied the game and Kyle Newton followed with a base hit to give FAU its first lead at 3-2.
WKU tied the game against Garton in the seventh on a pair of errors and a sacrifice fly by Scott Wilcox.
Ahmed Garcia (3-0) allowed just one hit over the final two innings to pick up the win.
FAU will take on Louisiana-Monroe in a battle of bracket unbeatens tomorrow at 3pm. WKU takes on South Alabama (0-1) in the final game tomorrow night.