BILOXI, Miss. – (May 25, 2019) – The No. 29 Florida Atlantic University baseball team went out to a 8-0 lead early, and reliever Nick Swan pitched six innings of one-hit shutout baseball to lead the Owls past UTSA, 11-4, and into the Conference USA Championship title game. The victory also marked No. 400 in the head coaching career of John McCormack.
Head Coach John McCormack:
“Leading into championship day, that’s exactly what we needed to do. Got on the board early, made them chase us, didn’t use a lot of pitching … Really proud of the guys, Nick Swan really bailed us out. Up 8-0, (Jacob) Josey got into a little bit of trouble, and Nick was able to roll the game out which is absolutely amazing.”
The Turning Point
The Owls (40-18) got out to their third lead is as many games in Biloxi, with two in the first, on a two-run single with the bases loaded by Francisco Urbaez. Joe Montes led off the second with the first of what would be two home runs on the day, and like déjà vu all over again, Urbaez came up in the same situation, and again, plated two with a single for a 6-0 lead. It would be 8-0 after a two-run shot by Eric Rivera in the third.
UTSA (28-30) halved the deficit with four of their own in the bottom half of the third, but that would be all they would get. Swan retired the first six he faced and utilized groundout double plays to erase a hit batter in the sixth and leadoff single in the seventh. Insurance runs came courtesy of another Montes home run, and two in the ninth, with Montes gaining a third RBI on an error, plus a bases-loaded walk to Gunnar Lambert.
· Jacob Josey started and went three innings
· Swan (3-1) had a season-long outing with his six frames, facing one over the minimum with just three baserunners reaching against him
· He needed only 78 pitches for his winning outing, 50 of which went for strikes
· Urbaez, Rivera and Montes combined for 10 of the Owls’ 15 hits
· For Urbaez, his four hits and four RBI both represent new FAU career highs. He was also hit by a pitch, reaching base five times
· Rivera scored three times out of the leadoff slot and was a triple away from the cycle on his 3-for-6 afternoon. His home run was his sixth
· Montes, also 3-for-6 and also scoring three times, recorded his first career two-homer game with FAU. He’s up to eight home runs this year
· Wilfredo Alvarez notched his second straight two-hit game
The C-USA Championship title game to determine the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament begins at 2 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, with the Owls facing Southern Miss. It will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.
– FAUSports.com –
Florida Atlantic University Athletics:
FAU Athletics is comprised of 21 intercollegiate teams involving 450 student-athletes that compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, volleyball, beach volleyball, cheer and dance. The Owls are a NCAA Division I-A (FBS) institution and compete in Conference USA and the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) (beach volleyball, men’s swimming). The Owls have been playing football since 2001 and are a perfect 3-0 in bowl games, the most recent being a 50-3 victory over Akron in the 2017 Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl. The dance team finished its 2014 season No. 8, nationally. FAU cheer won a national championship in 2016.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.