C-USA Baseball Daily Snapshot 5/22

CUSA Snapshot
With a furious sprint to the finish in the final day of CUSA regular season play, FAU took full advantage of losses by the remaining three teams in the top four of the conference to take the 2016 CUSA regular season championship. The Owls finished the sweep over the WKU Toppers in the conclusion of suspended game from Friday evening, winning 4-1 to earn the crown by one-half game over Marshall.
Marshall never led ODU in the finale, but had an ample opportunity to claim the lead in the eighth with runners at second and third with only one out. Closer Nick Hartman worked two-plus innings in relief for the Monarchs and pitched out of the jam to maintain the 5-5 score headed to the ninth. Rather going to the closer in the ninth, Marshall stayed with reliever Joshua Shapiro and the gamble proved to backfire as the southpaw surrendered a pinch-hit solo blast by Chris Livers for the deciding run in the affair. It was Livers first homer of the season. ODU held on for a 6-5 win, handing Marshall its first loss in conference since April 16 (FAU).
FIU completed the sweep of Southern Miss, coming back after for a 5-3 deficit after three innings. However, the Panthers’ offense exploded for a six-run fourth inning followed by a four-run fifth for a 13-8 win in the finale to earn the sweep over what was the top team in the league entering the weekend. Nick Day had himself a day at the plate, launching two long balls in the rout of the Eagles. FIU hammered four long balls to once again outslug the leagues’ best offense.
Rice attempted to salvage a win in the series with La. Tech only to get doubled up by one of the hottest teams in the league. The Bulldogs smacked 13 hits while the Owls stranded 13 runners on base and committed five errors on the afternoon, ultimately leading to the Owls’ first ever sweep in CUSA. La. Tech roughed up Ricardo Salinas who entered in relief in the second, touching him for six runs on six hits over four innings. The two will meet in the opening round of the tournament next week.
Charlotte needed the final game of 2016 to back its way into the tournament; dropping UAB 6-4 to earn the No. 8 seed while ending the Blazers’ postseason hopes. UAB looked poised to complete the sweep of the twin bill and steal away the berth, taking a 3-2 lead into the sixth. However, Charlotte erupted for four runs in the home frame for a 6-3 edge. UAB added a run in the seventh, but it proved to not be enough to complete the comeback.
1. FAU                        21-8
2. Marshall               21-9
3. Southern Miss     20-10
4. Rice                       19-10
5. La. Tech                19-11
6. ODU                       15-15
7. FIU                         15-15
8. Charlotte              12-17
9. UAB                         12-18
10. WKU                     10-20
11. UTSA                    8-20
12. MTSU                    5-24
What They Said
"It was a tremendous effort by our guys who continue to overcome and persevere. We got down early to a really good team, a team that has been dominant in this league for a long, long time. I just can't say enough about the character of these young men. Our guys didn't once back down even when we got down early and it was because of our crowd and the environment and the energy they had for us today. When I took this job, we hoped and dreamed to build something special where we have 2,000 people every night cheering us on and we are on to something special." –La. Tech Head Coach Greg Goff said after the Bulldogs swept Rice for the first time ever in CUSA.
“I’m really proud of our guys. We kept grinding and kept playing. This was a great team effort, I’m happy for our guys and happy to see them get rewarded. There’s something to be said for finishing in the top-eight of this conference.” –Charlotte Head Coach Loren Hibbs said after the 49ers played their way into the CUSA Championship.
“We lost today, but it is a new season on Wednesday. We will have to put this behind us quickly.” –Marshall Head Coach Jeff Waggoner said after falling in the regular season finale to ODU.
Looking Ahead
Here’s how the 2016 CUSA Championship lines up with games beginning Wednesday. All times listed is Central Time. Tournament is double elimination.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Game 1: No. 5 La. Tech vs. No. 4 Rice 9:00a
Game 2: No. 8 Charlotte vs. No. 1 FAU 12:30p
Game 3: No. 6 ODU vs. No. 3 Southern Miss 4:00p
Game 4: No. 7 FIU vs. No. 2 Marshall 7:30p
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser (Loser eliminated) 9:00a
Game 6: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser (Loser eliminated) 12:30p
Game 7: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner 4:00p
Game 8: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 7:30p
Friday, May 27, 2016
Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 7 loser (Loser eliminated) 3:00p
Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. Game 8 loser (Loser eliminated) 6:30p
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner 9:00a
Game 12: Game 8 winner vs. Game 10 winner 12:30p
Game 13: Same teams as Game 11 (If Necessary) 4:00p
Game 14: Same teams as Game 12 (If Necessary) 7:30p
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Championship Game, 1:00p, CBS Sports Network