Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alonso's Big Blast Beats FAU

Boca Raton -- As Yonder Alonso’s towering ninth inning homer sailed up and out of FAU Stadium, so did the Owls’ hopes of defeating top-ranked Miami for the second time in as many games.

The Hurricanes beat the Owls 12-10 in the deciding game of a three game series in front of an FAU near-record crowd of 2,348. After splitting the first two games in Coral Gables, Miami came back from a 10-3 deficit to beat FAU in Boca Raton.

“Pretty good game,” said FAU coach Kevin Cooney. “We were up by a bunch and couldn’t finish it off. A great relief pitcher got bitten.”

Freshman closer Glen Troyanowski entered with one out in the eighth inning to try to protect a 10-7 FAU lead. He escaped the eighth with the Owls lead at 10-9, but after recording two easy outs in the ninth, Jemile Weeks singled and Troyanowski fell behind the Hurricanes’ first baseman. He served up a 2-0 fastball and Alonso deposited it over the batting cages and into the forest behind the right field fence.

“I just got a good pitch,” said Alonso, who let the FAU fans seated along the right field line know that it was time to quiet down by bringing his finger to his lips as he rounded first base. As Alonso approached home plate he was engulfed in a celebratory mob of teammates.

“This time it was their day,” Cooney said.

The Owls let an early lead and a gutsy pitching performance by starter Adam Morrison go to waste. Morrison struck out four and gave up seven runs in five innings of work. But the Owls played some shoddy defense behind him and four relievers.

After a two out walk to Weeks in the fifth, Alonso hit a high pop into shallow left-center field. Four Owls converged on the ball but none caught it, as it plopped harmlessly onto the outfield grass.

In the eighth inning third baseman Troy Bubley, inserted for defensive purposes, had a routine ground ball get stuck in his jersey. The freakish error led to two Hurricanes runs, setting the stage for Alonso’s ninth inning blast.

“[Troyanowski] was one pitch from being the hero and now he’s the goat,” Cooney said.

The Owls got off to a torrid offensive start to open up a big lead against Miami starter Michael Rudman. FAU scored multiple runs in each of the first four innings. Shortstop Nick Arata was one of FAU’s offensive stars. He had three hits, including a two-run homerun, and scored three times. Catcher Alex Silversmith went 4-for-5 with an RBI.

The near-record crowd filled the stands behind home plate and the grassy berms along the baselines. There was believed to have been a bigger crowd when Miami visited FAU in 2001, but FAU didn’t start keeping official attendance figures until 2003.

The Hurricanes improved to 31-3 with the win as the Owls fell to 21-13. This weekend the Owls travel to New York for a four game series against New York Tech.

2 comments:

ASponge said...

21-13 is still pretty good. FAU Baseball is in good hands (both on the field and in the press box, thanks to Warman and Imber)

Future Fish said...

was there last night

Yonder is an absolute pimp.