Boca Raton, FL (ASU) - Pinch-hitter Joey Burkhalter's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Florida Atlantic Owls a 3-2 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves (23-20 12-9), Sunday afternoon at FAU Stadium. With the win, the Owls (29-15, 17-7) completed the three-game sweep over the Red Wolves in the Sun Belt Conference weekend series.
"It was a tough ballgame, a 3-2 loss and we had two of those this weekend", said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo. "We really didn't hit the ball this weekend as well as we normally do. Credit their defense, they made some plays and we hit some balls right at them. We really couldn't get anything in sync all weekend."
The Red Wolves used a two-out RBI single from first baseman Murray Watts to take a 1-0 lead in the first, then made it 2-0 in the third when center fielder Todd Baumgartner drove in second baseman Giovanni Garcia from third. Garcia got aboard when he led off the inning with a double to right field.
Florida Atlantic used a slow-rolling single from designated hitter Eddie Cassidy that ricocheted off of second base and allowed two runners to score to knot the score at 2-2 in the third, a tie that held until Burkhalter's eighth-inning RBI.
Senior Ross Humes (5-3) took the loss for ASU, giving up the one unearned run in the ninth on one hit. Humes worked one and one-third innings, walking one and striking out none. Starter Jacob Lee struck out six batters in six and two-thirds innings of work, giving up two runs on five hits and a pair of walks.
Ryan Bernal (5-1) picked up the win on the mound for the Owls, going two innings without giving up a run or a hit, with one strikeout and no walks.
Watts and Baumgartner each had one hit and one RBI to lead ASU at the plate, while Cassidy's two hits and two RBIs led Florida Atlantic.
Arkansas State will return to action Tuesday, May 4 when the Red Wolves host Tennessee-Martin in a 6:30 p.m. game at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field. The ASU-UTM contest will be the first of six consecutive home games for the Red Wolves. Arkansas State will host Florida International May 7-9 in a three-game Sun Belt Conference weekend series, before welcoming Murray State and Ole Miss to Jonesboro May 11 and 12.