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2020 SERIES THREAD: Miami vs FAU - March 4th, March 24th & April 15th

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Owls and Hurricanes to Begin Season Series


What: No. 6 Miami (8-3) vs. Florida Atlantic (7-4)

When: Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 PM

Where: FAU Baseball Stadium

Video: CUSA.tv

Live Stats: Here


Hurricanes Team Site: Here

Series: UM owns a 64-18 all-time advantage over FAU, despite the Owls winning the last matchup 6-4 last April.


Projected Starting Pitchers

FAU - TBA
UM -  TBA


Notes


Hurricanes

Miami entered the season as the No. 3 ranked team in the nation. They were quickly crowned the top team in the nation following a dominating season-opening sweep over Rutgers, in which the Hurricanes outscored the Scarlett Knights by a combined score of 23-9.

Following a midweek thumping over Kent State, the top ranked 'Canes had a date with the No. 2 Florida Gators. Despite playing the three game set in Coral Gables, UM surprisingly came away winless in the series. The hosts dropped the first two games in extras (2-1 in 11, 7-4 in 10), before losing Sunday's matinee 5-3. That sweep has propelled the Gators to overtake Miami as the top ballclub in the country.

UM has won four straight since getting swept by Florida, including a close midweek win over struggling USF and a weekend sweep of Towson. Miami's return to winning ways has allowed them to remain in the top ten in every major college baseball poll. Baseball America's No.6 ranking is currently UM's highest spot among all of the publications.

2019 All-ACC Second Team RHP Brian Van Belle (2-0, 0.00 ERA) is the second best pitcher in the nation when considering his ERA with his total IP (20.0). He has started three games, all of which being the Friday openers for three-game weekend series. The senior from Pembroke Pines has 33 strikeouts to his two walks.

This will be Miami's first contest away from Coral Gables this season.



Owls

FAU completes their unprecedented gauntlet against top-15 programs with No. 6 Miami after facing No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 12 Florida State, and No. 1 Florida.

The Red Raiders gave the Owls their first defeat of the campaign with a 7-1 thumping last Friday. FAU then dropped two straight to hosts Florida State, 5-1 and 16-6. Despite the solid outings from the three starters (RHP Corey Ireson, RHP Jacob Josey, and RHP Dante Visconti) the Owls quickly ran out of arms in the bullpen, and failed to find quality at bats, en route to the weekend sweep.

Most recently, the Owls put in a scare against No. 1 Florida at FAU Baseball's Second Home at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Starting LHP Marc DeGusipe got rattled in the first inning, allowing a trio of Gators to cross the plate. The true freshman from Tampa impressed when he quickly settled down to complete his 3.0 IP shift.

Unlike in Tallahassee, the bullpen played lights out. LHP Adrien Reese, RHP Mike Entenza, LHP Dylan O'Connell, and RHP Michael Schuler combined for two runs (with just one earned), five hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. Entenza in particular impressed, giving up zero hits while striking out three Gators in his 1.2 IP.

And while FAU was able to match UF's 11 hits, the Owls left ten runners stranded. The inability to bring runners home was an area of frustration for Head Coach John McCormack. "We have to have everybody show up, and look at the box score, and it didn't happen that way."

Coach McCormack praised his team for being aggressive to tie the game at 3 after two innings. But he was left confused as to why his team failed to continue that aggression at the plate when they had chances to attack. "We are aggressive, and we got guys on base. And when there were opportunities to drive guys in, and we weren't aggressive." Out of FAU's ten runners left on base, seven were in scoring position.

Mitchell Hartigan (.378) continues to pace the clubhouse at the plate thanks to his 3-4 performance against the Gators. The outfielder knocked a pair of doubles and a single for a season-high three hits.

Infielder BJ Murray was responsible for two runs batted in thanks to his two-run homer in the first inning. Murray was able to showcase his defensive talent several times while positioned along the hot corner. The most impressive was this sliding scoop and throw in the middle of the sixth inning.



The Owls swept Miami in the 2018 three-game season series before losing 2019's edition 2-1. That lone FAU win came in early April via a 6-4 scoreline from Coral Gables.

This is the only time the Hurricanes will visit Boca Raton this season. FAU will travel to Coral Gables for the final two contests of the three-game set on March 24th and April 15th.

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LHP Hunter Cooley will start tonight's matchup against the Hurricanes.

UM counters RHP Alex McFarlane and his 7.11 ERA.


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Very quiet start to the game. FAU starter LHP Hunter Cooley has looked very smooth through his first two innings. Will be interesting to see if he can keep this up as he faces the meat of the Hurricane lineup. Scoreless game as we enter the bottom half of the second inning.

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The Owl bats with a strong 3rd inning. Very close play at the plate with OF Jackson Wenstrom. UM Coach Gino DiMare came out to argue the call and was not successful. Hurricanes having trouble picking up Cooley`s delivery, we will see if they can make some adjustments. FAU winning 2-0 through 3 innings.

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FAU able to keep the Hurricane hitters under control. Great defense by the Owls so far. Not only is C Nicholas Toney hitting, but also handling the FAU pitchers very well. Toney made a great catch to finish the top of the 6th inning. Owls up 3-1 as we enter the bottom of the 6th inning.

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Manufacturing runs has been key to the Owls lead so far. Crafty and alert base running has allowed FAU to extend innings. After giving up bases loaded, starter Hunter Cooley was replaced by righty reliever Mike Entenza. The West Palm Beach native walked Miami (FL) INF Villar allowing a score to run. Owls remain up 6-2 as we enter the bottom of the 7th inning.


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What a shift by Cooley! Probably the best midweek start we've seen so far this season.

And LOVED seeing the emotion from Entenza as he closed the top of the eighth!

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Very impressive pitching performance so far from the Owls. Both Cooley and Entenza with great stuff today. FAU leads 6-2 as we enter the bottom of the 8th inning.


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FRANCISCO FREAKING URBAEZ ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!?

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Electric moment here at the ballpark after the Urbaez 3 run homer. FAU is now 3 outs away from securing their biggest home win of the season. The ninth inning belongs to lefty reliever Evan Waterbor.


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