Florida Atlantic rides four-run first inning to 5-4 win over Miami


BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic scored four early runs and, with help from a hot bullpen, kept a dangerous Miami Hurricanes offense from coming back in a 5-4 win on Wednesday night.

Winning for the sixth time in seven games, FAU (6-1) jumped out to a hot start against the Hurricanes (3-5), batting around in the first inning. Junior shortstop Tyler Frank led off with a double, his fifth hit in nine at-bats since moving to the leadoff spot on Saturday, and finished with his third multi-hit performance in as many games.

“It’s what you dream of, playing in front of crowds like this,” Frank said of a night on which FAU attracted nearly 1,900 fans. “In front of your university, students, it’s awesome. It’s a good time.”

Sophomore Nick Prather pitched four innings, allowing four hits and three runs while recording four strikeouts. Throwing only 63 pitches, Prather is the only Owls starter this season to have fewer than 10 total innings pitched.

“As he matures, he’s gonna get better because his delivery has a lot of stuff in it,” Owls coach John McCormack said. “Guys that physically aren’t mature yet have a hard time repeating that type of delivery. I think he’s gotta continue to work on his mechanics and physical conditioning.”

Relievers Jordan Poore, Blake Sanderson and Weston Clemente held the Hurricanes to one run before Miami loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th. Drew Peden proceeded to strike out two then induce a lineout to end the threat.

Miami again threatened to tie things at 5 in the ninth, but a lineout to second baseman Eric Rivera gave the Owls their first win in four games against the Hurricanes.

FAU improved to 7-18 against Miami under McCormack, an impressive improvement from the 7-54 record the Owls had against the Hurricanes prior to 2009.

Morris honored: McCormack announced shortly before first pitch that FAU would be giving longtime Hurricanes coach Jim Morris a week-long, expenses paid stay at the Boca Resort. Morris will be retiring following this season after 27 years and nearly 1,100 wins with the Hurricanes.

“He was ahead of the curve and he knows what he’s doing,” McCormack said. “I wanted to do it for me, for our fans and for him.”


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