FAU Baseball 2016 Opening Weekend Thread
The Owls commence their 2016 campaign today at 1:00 PM, and will play a double-header before solo games on both Saturday and Sunday. Here's the slate for the weekend:
2/19 vs. South Dakota State @ 1:00 PM
FAU: RHP David McKay (4-2, 3.19 ERA, 31 IP, 20 K, 10 BB, 11 ER)
SDSU: RHP Ryan Froom (5-3, 3.22 ERA, 67 IP, 48 K, 18 BB, 24 ER)
2/19 at Mississippi State 5:30 PM
FAU: LHP Brandon Rhodes (4-1, 3.78 ERA, 78.2 IP, 41 K, 14 BB, 33 ER)
MSU: RHP Dakota Hudson (1-1, 4.32 ERA, 16.2 IP, 26 K, 11 BB, 8 ER)
2/20 at Mississippi State @ 5:30 PM
FAU: RHP Marc Stewart (First season at FAU)
MSU: RHP Austin Sexton OR LHP Daniel Brown
2/21 vs. South Dakota State @ 12:00 PM
SDSU: RHP Andrew Clemen (1-1, 3.20 ERA, 39.1 IP, 47 K, 12 BB, 14 ER)
FAU Head Coach John McCormack will miss his first game in his eighth year as the Owls’ skipper this weekend as he recovers from cancer. Assistant Coach Jason Jackson will fill in in his absence. With the measure being taken as a precautionary means, McCormack is not expected to miss any other road games, and will return to the sideline when the team hosts LIU Brooklyn on February 26th at FAU Baseball Stadium.
The team will open the season away from Boca Raton for the first time since 2012 (at Alabama). The Owls have won on opening day six times in the last seven years. They were picked to finish 2nd behind Rice by league Coaches in the C-USA Preseason Poll.
The Owls return starting players at every position with the exception of catcher, where Gunnar Lambert is expected to make his first career start, replacing Kevin Abraham. Freshman Tyler Frank may also see time behind the plate.
Junior IF CJ Chatham (photo above) has been named a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Chatham hit .335 in 2015 with 44 RBI. His 22 doubles led an FAU squad that was helped by his 19-game hitting streak late in the season. Chatham scored 44 runs and belted three triples and three home runs, slugging .496 on the year in 60 starts for the Owls.
Junior OF Christian Dicks (photo above) led FAU with eight home runs a season ago to go along with 39 RBI. The Jacksonville native scored 36 runs with seven doubles and two triples and was a perfect 7-of-7 on stolen base attempts. Dicks, in his first game as an Owl, hit a walk-off home run against Connecticut in the 2015 opener.
Junior IF/OF Brett Lashley (photo above) hit .274 last season, playing in 58 games with 51 starts. He scored 42 runs with 28 RBI and 27 walks and led FAU with nine sacrifice flies.
Projected Starters and 2015 Stats
1B: Esteban Puerta (.305, 34 R, 11 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 36 BB, 34 K)
2B: Stephen Kerr (.307, 57 R, 10 2B, 1 HR, 23 RBI, 32 BB, 31 K, 15 SB)
SS: CJ Chatham (.335, 44 R, 22 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 44 RBI, 10 BB, 28 K)
3B: Brett Lashley (.274, 42 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 28 RBI, 27 BB, 24 K, 9 SF)
C: Gunnar Lambert (5 AB, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 1 K)
LF: Christian Dicks (.268, 36 R, 7 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 26 BB, 7 SB)
CF: Billy Endris (.329, 20 R, 3 2B, 4 3B, 8 RBI, 12 BB, 6 SB)
RF: Jose Bonilla Traverso (.500, 2 H - season cut short: injury)
BASEBALL FINAL: #FAU 11 SDSU 5. Owls are the win column! Puerta 4-6, 5 RBI, HR. McKay 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 K. Game 2 vs Miss. St @ 5:30 PM.— FAU Owl's Nest (@TheOwlsNest_ITB) February 19, 2016
UPDATED SCHEDULE: 2016 FAU Baseball Schedule - FAU Owl's Nest