2020 SERIES THREAD: Miami vs FAU - March 4th, March 24th & April 15th
What: No. 6 Miami (8-3) vs. Florida Atlantic (7-4)
When: Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 PM
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
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
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.
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.
Is that Derek Jeter!? Nope, just BJ Murray during BJ Murray things.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 4, 2020
The sophomore pulls off this beautiful move to help RHP Mike Entenza complete a 1-2-3 inning.#FAU still trails #1 #UF 5-3 as we enter the seventh inning. pic.twitter.com/7VbmY9bSa6
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.
UM counters RHP Alex McFarlane and his 7.11 ERA.
JUST IN: Sophomore LHP Hunter Cooley (4.15 ERA) gets the nod to start on the mound for @FAU_Baseball.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 4, 2020
First pitch between #FAU and No. 5 #UM on a BEAUTIFUL night in Boca, is just five minutes away!#GoOwls #BeatUM 👌 pic.twitter.com/RlF2OdCxPF
PLAY BALL!— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 4, 2020
Cooley gets us underway under this gorgeous sunset in Paradise! pic.twitter.com/B8DmXRKuox
Another Owl is SAFE at home as Nicholas Toney knocks in Charlie Concannon with this RBI single to right!#FAU is FEELIN’ IT as they lead No. 5 #Miami 3-1 in the fifth inning. pic.twitter.com/689mcKnW63— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 5, 2020
Nicholas Toney is having himself a night!— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 5, 2020
He brings in one via this RBI double before racing home from a wild pitch a few minutes later.#FAU stretches their lead to 6-1 over No. 5 #UM as we enter the 7th inning. pic.twitter.com/3nRsuhBl3U
And LOVED seeing the emotion from Entenza as he closed the top of the eighth!
Mike Entenza comes in to replace SP Hunter Cooley after 6.2 stellar IP.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 5, 2020
And Entenza is PUMPED after killing off the #UM threat in the 8th inning. You LOVE to see it!#FAU leads the Hurricanes 6-2 as we head to the bottom of the 8th. pic.twitter.com/PLlSKIPBGI
BOOM, SEE YA LATER!!— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) March 5, 2020
Francisco Urbaez with a three-run BOMB to give the Owls some major insurance!
Oh and the team is LOVING it! 😍#FAU is DOMINATING No. 5 #Miami 10-2 now after a Hurricane fielding error! pic.twitter.com/BNbuV1VOsB