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Previewing Middle Tennessee series

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Previewing Middle Tennessee series

Owls Eye View of Middle Tennessee Series

They have good hitters, particularly batters 1-3.  Overall team batting average is .322, compared to FAU who is .334… but we all know we kill the ball.

Their pitching leaves a little less to be desired.  Their ace is pretty consistant but it ends there.  Their bullpen, however, is pretty dominant led by Chad Edwards (2.25 ERA 2-0 record, 8 k's in 12 IP) and Bryce Brentz (2.45 ERA, also their left fielder).

If we can get to their starter and build up a lead, we shouldn't need to worry about their bullpen. That's a big IF though, as well all know.

COMPARITIVE STATS

Records
FAU 13-6 (3-1 SBC)
MTSU 10-4 (3-2 SBC)
Quality Wins
FAU - beat Lafayette twice; Beat Rutgers 10-1 Tuesday (Big East Champs)
MTSU - Took 2 of 3 from Arkansas State; beat Belmont (yeah, had to reach for that one!)
Runs Scored
FAU 185 (opponents 124)
MTSU 121 (opponents 94)
Home Runs
FAU - 37 (opponents 20)
MTSU - 19 (opponents 18)

PITCHING
Team ERA
FAU -5.35
MTSU - 5.05
Walks Allowed
FAU - 111 (ouch that's ugly)
MTSU - 52
HR's Allowed
FAU - 20
MTSU - 18


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nathan Hines, CF, Middle Tennessee
By far, their top hitter. Currently hitting .437 which leads the team. He also leads the team in hits (31), runs (21), doubles (10), Triples (2), RBI's (20), HR's (4)… basically every statistical category to be good in, he is.


Zach Barrett, 3b, Middle Tennessee
Barrett, the raiders leadoff hitter, is batting .375 and is second on the team in hits.  Not very impressive right? Well, try this.  His on-base percentage (the percentage of time he reaches base per AB) is a staggering .516. .300 and above is good, .400 is excellent… .500 is unheard of (McKenna is .443, FYI).

Mike McKenna, RF, Florida Atlantic
A machine. If MTSU decides to pitch to him this weekend it will be either foolish or because they have no choice.

William Block, 2b, Florida Atlantic
Probably our hottest hitter right now. He doubled twice, went 3-for-4 with two RBI versus NJIT and has hit safely in 16 straight games. Will bat leadoff.


MY DARK HORSE PLAYER TO WATCH

David Wilson, CF, Florida Atlantic
Went out on a limb with this one a bit.  We really haven't settled on a centerfielder yet this year, but Wilson has taken his opportunities and proved he deserves to start.  Against NJIT Wilson went 3-for-5 with 6 RBI and was a single short of hitting for the cycle.

Series Starters:

Friday - Mickey Storey (1-1  1.96 ERA  15 k's  5 BB's)
- our Ace keeps getting stronger.  Should be a dominant performance.

Saturday - Jeff Beliveau (1-1  4.71 ERA  24 K's 26 BB's)
- We need Beliveau to show something other than he can walk anyone and their mother

Sunday - Mike Obradovich (0-1  12.27 ERA  7.1 IP)
- Was counted on to be our closer, but struggled before being shut down with a sore shoulder.  He's a better pitcher than he's shown so far.

MY TAKE
Our bullpen has been pitching a lot better as of late, good thing too.  Middle Tennessee can hit and have come up big in some of their most recent games in later innings, which is very scary idea for FAU given their woes so far this season.

I expect Mickey to throw well and the offense to really set the tone early on.  Middle hasn't played a game since Sunday and Mickey's sneaky fastball and sharp curve ball will seem like a marble to MTSU tonight.

Should be a good game to watch.

Saturday and Sunday are interesting matchups and very winnable games.  Beliveau needs to show something. Adam Morrison is waiting in the wings to be a starter and if either Jeff or OB falter, I expect Cooney to go to Morrison early.

Don't expect much from McKenna, as I said.  As a result, Ozga should have a great series hitting behind Mike and with runners on.

FAU should sweep this series, but the pitching needs to prove themselves against a formidable opponent once again… they were impressive versus Rutgers, another great couple of performances and I'll be convinced they are for real.

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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

111 walks is just rediculous.  We been lucky with this so far but when we start getting into some tight series this is gonna bite us in the a$$
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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

roscoeowl said

111 walks is just rediculous.  We been lucky with this so far but when we start getting into some tight series this is gonna bite us in the a$$

Yep…its put up or shut up time now…

This, IMO, sound sike it will be a tester series for us…
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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

Florida_Owl said

roscoeowl said

111 walks is just rediculous.  We been lucky with this so far but when we start getting into some tight series this is gonna bite us in the a$$

Yep…its put up or shut up time now…

This, IMO, sound sike it will be a tester series for us…

Agreed.

MTSU should be one of the better teams in the belt this year, Hard to tell so far they havent played anybody really except Ark St.  I guess we'll see this weekend.  I think its gonna be us and Troy battleing for the conf title this year.  But like you said, this should be a big tester series.
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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

It should be a good indicator series, definitely.  The good thing is, MTSU is really trying to figure out their identity right now as far as pitching goes.

FAU needs to take advantage of this now… Middle Tennessee has eliminated us in the Sun Belt Tournament the last few years.  So, I have no doubts we'll be charged and ready for this series.

111 walks is despicable. 

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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

SCORE UPDATE:

FAU 7
MTSU 2

Going to the Top of the 5th inning


TBRays.blogspot.com
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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

SCORE UPDATE:

FAU 10
MTSU 2



TBRays.blogspot.com
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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

13-7 was the final.  It shouldnt have even been that close but it seems our bullpen likes to keep things interesting.  Im a little concerned about our pitching the next two games, Mtsu is a fundamentally good hitting team. Mkenna had 3 HR's tonight which was fun to watch.  I cant believe people keep pitching to him. 
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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

Agree with RoscoeOwl. Seems our bullpen likes to let the other team back in the game to keep the games closer than they should be. Very exciting to see McKenna take his first 3 at bats over the fence! Also got a double later in the game! Out of the total 20 runs scored by both teams only 2 of the rbi's were not from homeruns!
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Re: Previewing Middle Tennessee series

It was a real shock to see Gipson get lit up like he did.  He's a youngster, so he'll have games like that and it will help him be a better pitcher down the road.


I am not too worried about the bullpen after the first game.  The walks have killed us and we didn't walk too many people, if they are going to get on I'd rather see them get hits than us give it away.

Also, when its 10-2 an element of focus kind of plays a role.  Especially when you are dealing with freshman and sophomore pitchers.

MTSU is very aggressive at the plate.  We need to jump out to those early leads like we did in the first game… but I'd be really happy to see the bull pen be put in a situation where they had to hold a team.

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