SERIES THREAD: #14 FAU @ UAB - May 1st - 3rd, 2015
What: FAU (33-10, 15-6 C-USA) at UAB (23-19, 10-11 C-USA)
When: Fri, May 1st at 7:30 PM
Sat, May 2nd at 3:00 PM
Sun, May 3rd at 1:00 PM
Where: Regions Field
The Owls took last's season's inaugural series (3-1, 10-9, 6-8) and lead 2-1.
Projected Starting Pitchers:
Fri: FAU - LHP Sean Labsan (2-1, 2.83 ERA)
UAB - RHP James Naile (6-3, 2.57 ERA)
Sat: FAU - RHP Kyle Miller (4-2, 3.83 ERA)
UAB - RHP Alex Luna (3-2, 3.24 ERA)
Sun: FAU - LHP Brandon Rhodes (2-0, 2.91 ERA)
UAB - RHP Johnny Lieske (3-3, 3.21 ERA)
Florida Atlantic moved back into a first place tie with Middle Tennessee after rebounding from a tough series-opening loss to Old Dominion (15-3) by winning the next two games, 8-1 and 8-2. Brendon Sanger swung a big bat in both victories (6-for-7, 5 RBI), allowing FAU to score eight or more runs for the 23rd time this season. He was named C-USA hitter of the week for the second time this year for his performance.
FAU tallied more extra-base hits than strikeouts, belting seven doubles and five home runs while striking out just 11 times in 99 at-bats. As a result, the team is now one home run away from doubling its home run total from 2014 (16).
The squad's second scheduled meeting against Florida Gulf Coast was cancelled due to the threat of weather, marking the second straight week that midweek action has seen this result.
The Owls are 24-1 when holding opponents to four or fewer runs and 30-2 when holding teams to five or fewer runs, and seven of FAU's eight regular starters are hitting at least .301 with a .407 or better on-base percentage.
UAB suffered a three-game sweep vs. Charlotte at home, its first league series sweep in Birmingham since the 2013 season. A grand slam was the difference in Saturday's 5-4 loss, as the first pitch off reliever Thomas Lowery went over the right field wall, the decisive hit and swing of the bat in the middle game of the series.
Big hits were the difference in Friday's outcome as well, as a 3-run blast and 2-run double gave the 49ers the win in the series opener. The Blazers suffered a 3-1 extra-inning loss Sunday to finish the series. Senior RHP Johnny Lieske was solid again for the second-straight week, tossing 7.2 frames of effective work with four hits allowed.
The Blazers faced crosstown rival Samford on Wednesday night, falling 4-2 at Joe Lee Griffin Field. Left fielder Jeff Schalk homered and drove in a pair of runs for UAB, who is currently tied for 6th place with FIU in the C-USA standings.
The squad is dead last in hitting with a team batting average of .248, but make up for it on the mound where they lead the conference behind a 3.25 ERA.
In a much welcomed change, clear skies and cool temperatures will prevail for the weekend series. Friday's action will see upper the 50's by games end, with the remaining two contests under sunny skies in the low to mid 70's.
The Owls are in Birmingham, and ready to take on the UAB Blazers with first pitch at 7:30 PM.
FAU: Kerr dh, Lashley 2b, Sanger rf, Santiago 3b, Collins cf, Puerta 1b, Dicks lf, Chatham ss, Miller c, Labsan p
UAB: Davis cf, Vincent 3b Gum rf, Tresgalla c, Mims 1b, Schalk lf, Lau dh, Smith ss, Morse 2b, Naile p
It is a 1st strike to Kerr and we're underway in Birmingham.— FAU Owl's Nest (@TheOwlsNest_ITB) May 1, 2015
Lashley = hustle. on foul down 3b line, Chatham, Dick and Santiago converge on ball, Lashley over from 2b to cover.— FAU Owl's Nest (@TheOwlsNest_ITB) May 2, 2015
BB, WP, and 2B and UAB has taken a 1-0 lead, 1 out, B2, runner on 2b.— FAU Owl's Nest (@TheOwlsNest_ITB) May 2, 2015