FAU Rallies For 7-6 Win Over UCF

BOCA RATON - No. 24 Florida Atlantic erased an early 6-0 deficit to rally for a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over No. 19 UCF Friday evening at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton. The Owls snapped UCF's seven-game winning streak and dropped the Golden Knights to 28-6 overall and 13-3 in the A-Sun. FAU raised its record to 27-7 and 7-6 in the league.

FAU starter Matt O'Brien tossed a complete-game and fanned nine Golden Knights to improve to 8-2 on the season. O'Brien allowed six runs, one earned, and just six hits over the nine-inning performance for the win.

UCF took an early 6-0 lead in the second inning with five unearned runs on three hits and two FAU errors. With the bases loaded, Matt LaFleur drilled a double to the wall in left field to put UCF on top at 2-0. Later in the inning, Drew Butera scored on a passed ball and Matt Ray drove in a run with a RBI infield single to give the Golden Knights a 4-0 advantage. After a 48-minute rain delay, UCF scored two runs via a throwing error by FAU starter Matt O'Brien and O'Brien uncorked a wild pitch to extend the lead to 6-0.

Florida Atlantic threatened with the bases loaded and just one out in the third with its No. 3 and 4 hitters due up, but Jeff Fiorentino recorded an out with a sacrifice fly and Rob Horst struck out looking to end the inning. Bono yielded just the one run in the inning to cut the lead to 6-1.

Justin Martin ripped a RBI-single to left center in the fourth with two outs to bring FAU to within four at 6-2.

FAU kept chipping away at the lead with two runs in the fifth on a two-run home run by Horst to cut the lead to 6-4.

The Owls kept the pressure on by forcing Bono to leave the game with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth, but reliever Jaime Douglas limited the Owls to just one run with a bases loaded walk to slice the lead to 6-5.

UCF's defense faltered in the eighth as the Golden Knights committed two errors in the inning to lead to two, two-out unearned runs for the Owls. With the bases loaded and an 0-2 count to Horst, the cleanup hitter for FAU laced a two-run single to left to give FAU its first lead of the night at 7-6.

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