March 14, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Louisiana Tech's bats were kept quiet for the better part of nine innings in a complete-game performance by Florida Atlantic starting pitcher Austin Gomber, as the Bulldogs fell to the Owls, 3-1, Friday night in the series opener at FAU Stadium.
Gomber (2-2) was lights out on the mound as he earned the win for Florida Atlantic (13-6, 2-2 C-USA) after striking out 10 LA Tech (6-11, 1-3 C-USA) batters, which tied his career-high, for the first complete game of his career.
"If we had a guy that pitched a game like FAU did, I would expect to get the win as well," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "It was hard to piece together multiple hits on him, but Gomber pitched extremely well and deserved the win. He was so electric and just really good tonight. We played really sound defense and just walked one batter. We were in the ballgame because of that. You cannot fault the way we pitched or played defense. He was better than we were tonight."
Adam Derouen (0-2) started for LA Tech and was charged with the loss after allowing all three runs on seven FAU hits in 5.1 innings of work. Derouen struck out one, while also walking one batter in the outing. Jared Keating came on in relief in the sixth and faced two batters, allowing one hit, before Eric Dunbar pitched the final 2.2 innings without allowing an FAU base runner.
In the sixth, FAU picked right back up where it left off as Brendon Sanger reached base after being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Sanger proceeded to steal second base and then scored on the next play when Santiago singled down the left field line for a 2-0 lead. The Owls added their third and final run of the game later in the sixth on another RBI base knock by Meyer.
The Bulldogs attempted a comeback in the ninth when Tyler Ervine reached base on a one-out walk. Conner Tobias pinch ran and then advanced to third on a double down the left field line by Taylor Love to give Tech runners on second and third in the last frame. A sacrifice fly by Stephen Gandy gave LA Tech the only run of the game, but FAU's first baseman snagged a hard-hit ground ball that Qualls hit up the right field line to cut the rally short for the final out of the game.
Taylor Love led Tech at the plate as the sophomore shortstop was responsible for two of the Bulldogs' four hits on the night with a 2-for-4 effort with a double. Tyler Qualls and Thomas Simoneaux each had one hit apiece in the contest, while Gandy was responsible for knocking home the lone run of the day for Tech.
The Owls totaled eight hits as a team with first baseman Ricky Santiago responsible for three hits in four at bats with one RBI and two runs scored. Meyer also contributed for the Owls with a 2-for-3 day with two RBI. Labsan and Sanger each had one hit for FAU as well.
The series continues at 3 p.m. CT Saturday at FAU Stadium with Phil Maton (1-2) scheduled to get the start on the mound for the Bulldogs. The Owls will counter with right-hander Jeremy Strawn (2-2).
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