SERIES THREAD: #14 FAU @ Southern Miss - Apr 17th - 19th, 2015
What: FAU (29-8, 11-4 C-USA) at Southern Miss (20-12-1, 8-6 C-USA)
When: Fri, Apr 17th at 5:00 PM
Fri, Apr 18th at TBD
Sat, Apr 19th at 4:00 PM
Where: Pete Taylor Park
The Golden Eagles took 2-of-3 in Boca Raton last season in the inaugural series, as the Owls managed only five total runs.
Projected Starting Pitchers:
Fri: FAU - RHP Kyle Miller (3-1, 3.42 ERA)
USM - RHP Cody Caroll (2-2, 2.39 ERA)
Fri: FAU - LHP Sean Labsan (2-0, 2.61 ERA)
USM - LHP Kirk McCarty (2-0, 2.30 ERA)
Sat: FAU - LHP Brandon Rhodes (1-0, 2.86 ERA)
USM - RHP James McMahon (7-0, 1.27 ERA)
In what is sure to be entertaining, this weekend's series bills the best hitting team in C-USA, the Owls, against the best pitching team, the Golden Eagles. Southern Miss Friday night man, Cody Caroll, has fanned a league best 55 batters in his 60.1 innings of action, and Sunday starter James McMahon (1.27 ERA, 1st C-USA) has tossed three complete efforts on the season while going a perfect 7-0 on the hill.
The Owls will look to rock the boat behind the hot bat of Brendon Sanger (.367, 4th C-USA), who finds himself etched among a plethora of Top 5 offensive league rankings while owning a couple as well. Sanger batted .400 during the week with three extra base hits (2 DB, 1H), five runs scored, and seven RBI. He was one of three Owls to notch multiple RBI efforts in FAU's 10-6 win over Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday night.
Florida Atlantic took two-of-three from rival FIU over the weekend and finished 2-2 for the week. However, they still saw an upswing in several polls likely by claiming the sixth most-difficult schedule among teams with eight or fewer losses.
Now at 29-8 overall, the Owls are tied with Illinois for the third-most wins of any Division I program, and touting the sixth-best record. Addtionally, they rank 15th in RPI according to Boyd's World, and own seven victories over Top-50 RPI teams.
The Golden Eagles started last week by completing a sweep of its two-game series with in-state rival Ole Miss. Southern Miss combined to finish 3-0 against both Ole Miss and Mississippi State for the season, marking the first time since 1965 that they were undefeated against both in-state rivals.
From there, it was on to hosting C-USA foe Western Kentucky in which they gained a 2-1 series win. Senior OF Michael Sterling collected a grand slam in Saturday's 15-3 victory over WKU, marking the first homer of that kind since Matt Durst hit one versus Rice on April 27, 2014.
After not hitting a home run in 10-straight games, the Golden Eagles belted three in the final two games of the WKU series. Along with Sterling's grand slam on Saturday, senior OF Connor Barron added a three-run shot in that game and freshman IF Taylor Braley added a three-run shot on Sunday.
Forecasts for both Saturday and Sunday show consistent periods of rain likely during scheduled playing times, while Friday appears to be relatively clear with a late start possible if clearing is delayed.
FAU came from behind for an 8-4 victory over Southern Miss in the first contest of Friday's scheduled double header.
The Owls were shut out in their first two trips to the plate, and saw Kyle Miller (W 4-1, 5.2 IP, 9H, 4R, 3K) roughed up by the Golden Eagles for three quick runs in the bottom of the 1st inning.
However Miller settled in, and they hit pay dirt by plating scores in the next 4-of-5 stanzas, including a solo home run to right field by CF Roman Collins which was his 5th on the season.
A four spot in the top of the 6th, paced by a pair of 2 RBI hits from both CJ Chatham and Christian Dicks, pushed FAU (30-8, 12-4 C-USA) ahead for their first lead at 6-4 and effectively chased Southern Miss starter Cody Caroll from the mound.
USM threatened with a bases loaded opportunity in the bottom half of the inning until Owls' reliever Devon Carr stepped in for Miller with a timely strikeout to finish the frame.
Esteban Puerta's 2 RBI triple in the 7th then made it a four run game for the visitors, and they never looked back from there.
Riley Monkman, who took over for Carr and earned the save, was highly effective against the Golden Eagles (20-13-1, 8-7 C-USA) tossing the final three innings while scattering just two hits to his four k's.
First baseman Brett Lashley, Chatham, and Dicks each registered multiple hit showings in the victory as FAU picked its 30th win on the season.
The offense couldn’t find the magic in the nightcap as FAU lost 6-1 and was held to its lowest scoring outing of the year and its fewest hits since March 4.
USM's Kirk McCarty went seven innings allowing only five hits and one unaearned run.
Five walks, two hit batters and one hit in the first two innings allowed the Golden Eagles to jump out to an early lead again as USM went up 2-0 in the second.
Two infield errors after a two-out Chatham single allowed the sophomore to score FAU’s only run of the game in the top of the fifth.
The Owls then committed a pair of errors in the bottom of the frame and allowed four hits as USM plated four runs to end the scoring.
FAU threatened with back-to-back leadoff walks in the eighth, but struck out three consecutive at-bats to end the inning.
Sean Labsan was tagged with the loss in his first weekend start, allowing two runs on one hit, five walks and two hit batters. David McKay and John Sebelle each struck out a pair in relief before Blake Sanderson closed out the game with a strikeout in the final inning.
Game three is slated for a 5:00 PM start on Saturday, weather permitting.
Rick saidGame three is slated for a 5:00 PM start on Saturday, weather permitting.Posted On: Apr 18th 2015, 10:45 AM
Game three got started on time, but it won't end tonight, as rain has reared it's ugly head again in Hattiesburg.
The contest will resume tomorrow at 12:00 PM EST, with the Owls leading 4-2 with two outs and two on in the bottom of the third inning.