SERIES THREAD: #16 FAU vs #13 Rice - May 13th - 15th, 2016
Who: No. 16 Florida Atlantic (33-14, 17-7 C-USA) at No. 13 Rice (31-15, 18-6 C-USA)
Friday 5/13 @ 8:00 PM - Fox Sports 2
FAU: RHP David McKay (2-4, 3.35 ERA, 51 IP, 39 H, 52 K, 15 BB
RICE: RHP Jon Duplantier (6-4, 2.20 ERA, 86.0 IP, 56 H, 107 K, 29 BB)
Saturday 5/14 @ 3:00 PM
FAU: LHP Brandon Rhodes (2-4, 3.35 ERA, 51 IP, 39 H, 52 K, 15 BB)
RICE: LHP Blake Fox (4-6, 2.48 ERA, 83.1 IP, 70 H, 77 K, 24 BB)
Sunday 5/15 @ 1:00 PM
RICE: RHP Ricardo Salinas (7-1, 3.06 ERA, 67.2 IP, 53 H, 56 K, 24 BB)
Florida Atlantic will take to the road one final time in 2016 regular season play for the the Battle of the Owls. Once again, it will prove to be the premier C-USA series for the ball club with huge stakes resting on both league seeding and final post season resume positioning as well.
Both Rice and FAU suffered setbacks this week in non-conference action with the Texas Owls being shutout 10-0 by in state rival Houston, and the Sunshine State representatives giving up a 10-2 decision at Ohio State on Wednesday night.
Previously, each team enjoyed sweeps weekend against their league opponents to maintain their respective standings of first and third place respectively.
Rice posted back-to-back shutouts to start their series at FIU series reaching a streak of 24-consecutive scoreless innings in the process. Friday night starter Jon Duplantier has now recorded 107 strikeouts in 86.0 innings and held all hitters to a composite .186 batting average. On Saturday LHP Blake Fox posted the best game of his collegiate career, a complete-game, six-hit 3-0 shutout with 10 strikeouts that earned him C-USA pitcher of the week honors.
At the plate, true freshman Ford Proctor is 23-for-52 (.442) with five doubles and a triple for a .577 slugging percentage in his last 14 games. The shortstop from Beaumont, Texas, has also maintained a steady .492 on-base average, scored 10 times and stolen two bases in the last 14 games.
FAU won a pair of close games against UTSA (5-4 and 3-1) while seeing the offense explode late in Saturday’s showdown for a 13-5 victory, the 11th time FAU has reached double-digit scoring this spring. Senior OF Billy Endris went 5-for-6 with two RBI, two doubles and two runs, sparking an eight-run eighth inning.
Junior 1B Esteban Puerta had a strong all-around weekend, registering a hit, and RBI and a run scored in each outing, totaling five hits (including two home runs), five RBI and four runs.
The Owls will be looking for their first ever conference victory over Rice this weekend with another re-tooled pitching line-up being possible. Official starters for both teams were still TBA as of late Thursday night. However, Sean Labsan remains day-to-day for Florida Atlantic, placing an uncertainty on the potential use of his services.
Weather wise matters could be interesting. Thunderstorms are forecast for the Houston metro on Friday from mid-afternoon up until just prior to first pitch. Ironically they dissipate only to make a return again on Saturday in the same format. Sunday will offer a lesser chance, but once again with the highest probability around start time.
This game is pretty much done unless we can get to their Pen.
This is kinda interesting, since they're also the Owls…
Rice Baseball Twitter account has an avatar that uses the phrase "this is Owl Town"
Don't notice any other "Owl" catchphrases on their Athletics website or Twitter.
Rick saidUnbelievable…leave the bags loaded chasing a ridiculous inside pitch in the dirt.
That could be our downfall in this one right there.Posted On: May 13th 2016, 10:18 PM
Yup. Everyone watching this game even knew what pitch was coming there too. Ugh.