2020 OPENING SERIES THREAD: Delaware vs FAU Feb 14-16, 2020
What: Delaware (0-0) at Florida Atlantic (0-0)
When: Fri, Feb 14th at 6:30 PM
Sat, Feb 15th at 4:00 PM
Sun, Feb 16th at 12:00 PM
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
Stream: CUSA.tv *FEE
The Owls own a 3-0 mark having swept the Blue Hens in Boca Raton back in 2018.
Projected Starting Pitchers
Sat: DEL - RHP Chris Ludman (3-8, 5.82 ERA)
FAU - RHP Jacob Josey (2-0, 3.38 ERA, 2019)
Sat: DEL - RHP Joey Silan (3-5, 5.53 ERA)
FAU - LHP Matt Sparling (1st Appearance, RS 2019)
Sun: DEL - TBA
FAU - RHP Corey Ireson (1st Appearance, 8-2, 1.85 ERA 2019 SFC)
FAU will open their 40th year of competition against a relatively familiar foe in that of Delaware, who they hosted in 2018.
The Owls were ultimately victorious with a sweep of the Blue Hens, but it was not without a challenge - particularly in the 2nd game of the trifecta where just a 2-1 result was the winning difference.
Fortunately for the Owls, they will not be seeing Delaware hurler Billy Sullivan, or his 99 MPH fastball, as he is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Nonetheless, Head Coach John McCormack has respect for the Blue Hens and their ability to be competitive.
"They're gonna' play hard, and be into it", McCormack said. "We've got to be ready to face their initial surge of energy…and just play our game and be prepared for the nine innings for three days."
He also acknowledges that the rotation assigned this week may or may not hold as the season progresses.
"In Florida Atlantic's history, we've always had some guys returning who are going to graduate from pitching on Tuesdays, to Sunday's, to Saturdays, to Fridays, and we don't really have that this year", said McCormack. "We've got to get guys on the mound, we've got to get them comfortable, and then we've got to figure out roles for everybody."
Offensively, he is expecting to see seasoned production, with a vast amount of experience coming back to the plate.
"I don't think we're going to start anybody opening day…except for maybe B.J. Murray…that doesn't have a lot of collegiate at-bats whether it be here or at community college."
Six starting position players return for the 2020 campaign, three of which were named Preseason All-C-USA: First baseman Andru Summerall, second baseman Francisco Urbaez and rightfielder Bobby Morgensen.
League coaches picked the Owls second in the preseason poll.
The Blue Hens travel to FAU for the second time in three seasons and Delaware's fourth trip to the Sunshine State in five years.
The 2020 season marks head coach Jim Sherman’s 20th year at the helm of the Blue Hen baseball program, following in the footsteps of legendary head coach Bob Hannah whose stint lasted 36 seasons.
The duo of redshirt senior CF Kyle Baker and sophomore 1B Joseph Carpenter were named to the Preseason All-CAA Team while redshirt junior IF Jordan Hutchins and senior RHP Derek Wakeley received honorable mentions.
Baker was the CAA’s leader in batting average in 2018 before being sidelined for the majority of 2019. Baker hit .354 with 39 RBIs, starting all 52 games as a junior.
Carpenter was named the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2019 to make it back-to-back honors for the Blue Hens as Billy Sullivan IV was the winner in 2018. Hutchins earned a first.
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association have also recognized Wakeley on their 2020 Stopper of the Year Award watch list.
It's OPENING NIGHT!! First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 tonight, your Owls hosting Delaware at FAU Baseball Stadium. Come on out or tune in on https://t.co/RVC77VTexk!— FAU Baseball (@FAU_Baseball) February 14, 2020
The FAU starting lineup tonight: pic.twitter.com/gn2QoxbtQ2
NJOWL saidOpening day lineup is out and it looks like runs!!!!Posted On: Feb 14th 2020, 5:54 PM
So much for .01 inches!
Well, the shut out is off the table for #FAU. And by the looks of this VERY SLOW moving stretch of rain forecast to be around for an hour the rest of the game is suspect too. Owls up 5-1 with two on and two out in the Bottom 4th. ☔️ pic.twitter.com/OO9AuTkiAC— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 15, 2020
#FAU Baseball's 2020 Season Opener (temporarily) falls prey to #Rain in the Bottom Half of the 4th with the Owls up 5-1, with runners on 2nd & 3rd and two out. Game is Scheduled to resume Sat @ 1:30 PM. #GoOwls! 🌴⚾️🌴 pic.twitter.com/6mt7GtlLU0— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 15, 2020
According to @FAU_Baseball, looks like we're still on for a 1:30 PM first pitch today despite rain in the area.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 15, 2020
We'll keep you updated if anything changes. once the game picks up, #FAU will be up on #Delaware 5-1 in the Bottom of the 4th. #GoOwls! 👌
So.... Mitchell Hartigan comes up to bat, and lines a single towards CF to bring in Jackson Wenstrom, extending #FAU's lead to 6-1.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) February 15, 2020
Then the umpires call a rain delay... Less than five minutes after the game resume from yesterday's rain delay.