MONROE, La. - An RBI single from Mark Nelson in the top of the sixth inning broke a 5-5 tie and was ultimately the difference maker, leading No. 28 Florida Atlantic to a 6-5 Sunday win over the ULM baseball team at Warhawk Field.
Florida Atlantic (24-13, 12-3 SBC) opened the top of the sixth inning with a Nathan Pittman single to center field that scored Mitch Morales, tying the game at 5-5 and chasing Kendall Thamm (2-2) from the contest. Wil Browning ran the count full to Corey Keller with two on and one out, but struck the Owl right fielder out swinging. Nelson bounced an RBI single down the left field line to bring in Mike Albaladejo from second base and give Florida Atlantic the 6-5 edge.
The Warhawks (17-19, 5-10 SBC) had taken their first lead of the afternoon in the top of the fifth inning. Taylor Abdalla led off with a full-count walk and then moved over to second base on a passed ball charged to the catcher Albaladejo. A perfectly executed sacrifice bunt from Caleb Clowers moved Abdalla to third base. Following a walk to Judd Edwards, Austin Gomber threw a wild pitch with Justin Stawychny at the plate, enabling Abdalla to score to tie the game at 4-all. A Stawychny RBI single to left field plated Edwards and gave ULM a 5-4 advantage.
Edwards paced the Warhawk offense for the second consecutive game, finishing 3-for-3 with a run scored. He was also hit by a pitch for the 16th time this season, a Sun Belt Conference-high.
Florida Atlantic loaded the bases against starter Fraser Adams in the top of the first inning, with Kyle Newton reaching on a 3-2 walk with two outs. Alex Hudak capitalized on the opportunity by lacing a double to the gap in right center field to score all three runners and give the Owls a 3-0 lead. An RBI single through the right side by Geoff Jimenez scored Hudak from second base to push the advantage to 4-0.
Edwards ripped a two-out single through the right side in the bottom of the second inning to give ULM their first hit of the game. After walking Stawychny and Chris Dudley to load the bases, Gomber forced Logan Fiasco to fly out to right field for the inning's third out.
Abdalla dropped a well-placed base hit into center field in the bottom of the third, scoring Les Aulds to bring ULM within three runs at 4-1. A throwing error by the center fielder Jimenez moved Abdalla to second and Joey Rapp to third. A Clowers chop single up the middle of the diamond plated Rapp to close the gap to 4-2. A wild pitch from Gomber scored Abdalla for the third Warhawk run of the frame (4-3).
Thamm walked Pittman on four straight pitches after entering for Adams in the top of the fourth inning to load the bases, but the left-hander induced a Keller fielder's choice groundout to Jeremy Sy at shortstop to escape the jam.
Albaladejo led Florida Atlantic with a 3-for-5 outing at the plate and scored two runs. Hudak added a pair of base hits and three RBIs. Bo Logan (3-3) worked 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the victory.
ULM travels to TCU for a midweek non-conference match-up Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
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