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|Sy's Walk-Off Homer in the 13th Inning Sends Warhawks to Wild Win|
Sun Belt Player of the Year Jeremy Sy smashed a two-run home run in the bottom of the 13th inning to send the No. 5 ULM baseball team to a 9-7 win over No.1 Florida Atlantic in Sun Belt Conference Tournament action Wednesday afternoon at Bowling Green Ballpark.
The Warhawks (30-27) sit atop Pool A with a 2-0 record. ULM has won both of its games in the tournament in extra innings (beat No. 4 South Alabama 7-4 in 10 innings Tuesday).
Jeff Fuller reached base to lead off the bottom of the 13th on a dropped pop up by Florida Atlantic first baseman Mark Nelson. Justin Stawychny laid down a would-be sacrifice bunt, but pitcher Ahmed Garcia (3-1) made a nice play to throw Fuller out at second base. A Les Aulds fly out set the stage for Sy, who grooved a 1-0 Garcia pitch deep and out over the left field to win the game.
Judd Edwards led all hitters with a 4-for-6 day, including three doubles and three runs scored. Corben Green added three hits and three RBIs, while Sy finished with two hits and three RBIs.
Brandon Alexander laced a leadoff double into the right field corner off Bo Logan to open the bottom of the eighth inning for the Warhawks. Edwards came through with a double of his own to the gap in right center field, plating Alexander to give ULM a 5-4 lead. An Abdalla fly out against Alvarez moved Edwards to third. Alvarez struck out Green swinging for the inning's second out. With Logan Fiasco protecting at the plate, Edwards made an all-out hustle play to steal home and up the lead to 6-4.
Corey Keller opened the top of the ninth inning with a leadoff double and advanced to third on an infield single by Mike Spano. Wil Browning (8-3) induced a fielder's choice ground ball to the mound to retire Keller at third base for the first out. A Nathan Pittman fly out advanced the runners to second and third base. Mike Abaladejo cleared the bases with a double to left center field to tie the game 6-6.
Florida Atlantic's (32-21) Pittman picked up his second big hit of the game, driving a 0-2 Browning pitch to the gap in right center to score Spano and vault the Owls in front 7-6 in the top of the 11th inning.
Green kept the Warhawks alive in the bottom of the 11th, lacing a one-out single off R.J. Alvarez down the right field line. Pinch hitter Stawychny drew a full-count walk to move pinch runner Fuller into scoring position at second base. Alvarez got Les Aulds to fly out to right field for the inning's second out. Sy drilled a single down the left field line, scoring Fuller from second base to tie the game at 7-7.
Mitch Morales worked a five-pitch walk off ULM starter Cale Wine in the top of the first inning, and then advanced to second on a single by Alex Hudak. The third baseman Edwards turned a nifty 5-3 double play on a sharply hit ball by Kyle Newton to get Wine out of the frame.
Florida Atlantic loaded the bases in the top of the second inning after Geoff Jimenez reached base on a ULM error while laying down a sacrifice bunt. A Pittman sacrifice fly scored Keller and gave the Owls a 1-0 lead. Wine got out of trouble by striking out Albaladejo on a 2-2 breaking ball for the final out of the inning.
Alexander drove a 1-0 offering from Owl starter Kevin Alexander over the wall in right field to lead off the bottom of the second inning, tying the game at 1-1. Edwards followed with a sharp double down the third base line to keep the ULM momentum flowing. An Abdalla fly out to deep left center field moved Edwards to third base. Green blasted a 1-2 pitch deep and out over the right field wall to vault the Warhawks in front 3-1.
Nelson clocked a two-out offering from Wine over the left field wall to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the third inning.
Wine sat Florida Atlantic down in order in the top of the fourth inning, as Spano flew out to center field, Jimenez grounded out to third base and Pittman struck out swinging.
Wine threw 7.2 innings of six-hit baseball, walking two and striking out four. Browning struck out five Owls in five full innings to pick up his second straight win.
Edwards opened the bottom of the fourth with a single to right field, and then took second on a stolen base. A Michael Silvestri passed ball moved Edwards to third base with one out. Green knocked a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Edwards and gave the Warhawks the lead (4-3).
ULM retired the Owls in order once more in the top of the sixth, as Wine breezed through the side on five pitches to keep the Warhawks in front 4-3.
Florida Atlantic tied the game on a Pittman solo home run over the wall in right center field in the top of the seventh inning, tying the game 4-4.
Newton singled up the middle in the top of the eighth with two outs to keep the inning alive for Florida Atlantic. Kendall Thamm entered for Wine and promptly struck out Nelson swinging to hold the Owls at bay.
The Warhawks return to action Saturday night against Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. at Bowling Green Ballpark. The game will be the final contest of pool play at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Photo by ULM
Photo caption: Jeremy Sy is greeted by his teammates after his 13 inning walk off home run that brings the Warhawks record to a perfect 2-0 in pool A play . The top team from Pool A and the top team from Pool B will meet for the Sun Belt Conference title on Sunday.