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Series Thread - FAU vs WKU: May 6-8, 2011

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Series Thread - FAU vs WKU: May 6-8, 2011

What:    Florida Atlantic (26-17, 13-8) at Western Kentucky (27-18, 12-9)

When:    Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m.
           Saturday, May 7 at 1 p.m.
           Sunday, May 8 at 1 p.m.

Where:   Nick Denes Field, Bowling Green, KY

Projected Starting Pitching Match Up:

Friday -     FAU - RHP Ryan Garton (3-3, 5.01 ERA, 40 K, 25 BB)
              WKU - LHP Tanner Perkins (6-2, 2.07 ERA, 63 K, 16 BB)

Saturday - FAU - RHP Paul Davis (8-1, 2.72 ERA, 52 K, 18 BB)
              WKU - RHP Justin Hageman (7-4, 3.42 ERA, 69 K, 23 BB)

Sunday -   FAU - RHP R.J. Alvarez (6-3, 4.25 ERA, 50 K, 26 BB)
              WKU - TBA

Live audio and statistics of all three games @ FAU Sports.com

Looking at the records, it appears that the Owls and the Hilltoppers are just about a dead even comparison this season. However, of note, the home team has lost four games on the year in extra innings. On Tuesday, WKU dropped a 4-5 decision to Eastern Kentucky in an 11 inning affair at Richmond.

Last weekend the Owls pulled out a 2-1 series win over league leader Troy behind the hefty bat of Nick DelGuidice, who was named the Conference’s Player of the Week after driving in six runs behind a 6-for-12 performance against the Trojans. DelGuidice notched his second career gram slam in the effort.

Western Kentucky is hitting at a clip of .309 as a team (2nd SBC), while Florida Atlantic notches just behind at .299 (4th SBC). The Hilltoppers enjoy a slight advantage in team pitching with a 4.17 team ERA to that of 4.54 for the Owls. Tanner Perkins is a key to their success on the mound, sporting a healthy 2.07 ERA (2nd SBC). Paul Davis continues to pace FAU (2.72 ERA).

The remaining conference slate bodes well for WKU, finishing out with 6-of-9 at home, with the Owls facing a tough 3-of-9 with both road swings against teams in the hunt (WKU & FIU). FAU will be looking to change the trend away from Boca Raton this weekend, where they are 3-6 for the season.

FAU's Alex Hudak continues to pave the way amongst league batters with his .401 average and is currently second in on base percentage at .477. Hugh Adams' seven saves is good for the top spot in relief.

The Owls lead the all-time series 11-6, including a three-game sweep last season in Boca Raton. The teams have each won three games at Nick Denes Field, but WKU took the last meeting there 2-1. The Hilltoppers are 7-2 in conference play at home on the year.

Saturday's game will be televised on the Sun Belt Network (CSS).

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Re: Series Thread - FAU vs WKU: May 6-8, 2011

Florida Atlantic (27-17, 14-8) didn’t score after the fourth inning, but the bullpen came through, as the Owls downed Western Kentucky 4-2 in game one of the series on Friday at Nick Denes Field.

After a scoreless first frame, FAU would touch up WKU ace Tanner Perkins for solo runs in the 2nd, 3rd to take a 2-0 lead.

Nick DelGuidice’s double, which set a new all-time program mark (56), started things off later in the fourth. David Cassidy then took advantage of the situation, singling in DelGuidice, before Andy Mee’s sacrifice fly RBI pushed Cassidy across the plate to double up the margin at 4-0.

The Hilltoppers (27-19, 12-10) got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when FAU starter Ryan Garton surrendered a lead off single and hit the next batter. With runners on the corner, a double by Jared Andreoli, combined with a Mee throwing error, allowed WKU to cut the deficit in half at 4-2.

With both starting pitchers in high toss counts, WKU was the first to go to the pen in the seventh, tapping RH Ross Hammonds with one out. He quickly produced the final two before retiring to the dug out.

The Owls followed suit in the bottom of the inning, bringing in Ahmed Garcia. He faced a bit of a jam initially, allowing back-to-back singles with one out, but was able to entice a double play to end the Hilltopper threat.

Garcia was solid in the eighth, before giving way to Hugh Adams who threw a quick one-two-three ninth to close it out.

DelGuidice and Mike Albaladejo led the offense for FAU, going 2-of-4, and DH Eddie Cassidy tabbed two RBI.

The Owls' staff hit four batters in the contest (Garton three, Garcia one), but the bullpen allowed just two base runners in the last three innings.

Casey Dykes was 3-of-4 for WKU, who lost their second straight.
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Re: Series Thread - FAU vs WKU: May 6-8, 2011

Very nice win guys, go Owls!
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Re: Series Thread - FAU vs WKU: May 6-8, 2011

Western Kentucky trailed up until the seventh inning, but five runs in the same proved too much for the Owls to answer as Florida Atlantic (27-18, 14-9) lost 6-2 in game two on Saturday.

This sets up series deciding game three tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

Nick DelGuidice was once again an offensive catalyst, this time a homer to left field that plated Paul Davis to give the Owls a 2-0 lead in the he top of the second inning.

Florida Atlantic’s Paul Davis had trouble with his control through the first three frames, including five walks, but each time WKU (28-19, 13-10) walked away empty handed and stranded a total of six runners.

After making easy work of the home team in the fourth - fanning two and enticing a pop up – Davis fell behind again in the fifth with two on and no outs.

Hilltopper Matt Rice would then hit a routine grounder, but the throw from DelGuidice was off the mark to a waiting Raymond Church at second and allowed WKU their first run of the game.

RH Jake Meiers took to the hill for the Owls in the sixth, getting to work quickly and retiring the side in order.

The Hilltoppers were 0-of-10 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon until that point, which soon changed.

A Jared Andreoli (4-of-4) single, coupled with an RBI triple by Ivan Hartle, and drew the game to a tie. Hartle should have been out at the bag, but a botched call from third base umpire left him there. Instant replay showed Hartle was clearly out by two feet.

Coach McCormack then went back to the pen in favor of Josh Gonzaga in a move which proved to be a bad one. Gonzaga immediately surrendered four straight hits, and saw the score swing to a 5-2 deficit in a matter of minutes. Exit Gonzaga.

Taylor Everist was the third pitcher to be used in the frame, giving up a single to the first batter he faced and another run for WKU.

Down 2-6, FAU put two on the bases in the 8th inning, setting up league leading Alex Hudak with a chance to narrow the gap. But Hudak flew out in foul territory, ending the inning.

Justin Hageman went the full distance for the Hilltoppers, picking up his 8th win on the year.

Meiers (3-5) suffered the loss for Florida Atlantic, who now sits 2 ˝ games back from Troy in the conference standings.
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Re: Series Thread - FAU vs WKU: May 6-8, 2011

A ninth inning rally by FAU (27-19, 14-10) fell short in a 5-4 decision on in Sunday. The Owls scored one run and stranded the game-tying run on the base paths in the final at-bat.

Despite the loss the Owls have qualified for the Sun Belt Conference tournament, set for May 25-28 in Monroe, La.

The host Hilltoppers broke a 3-3 deadlock on a two-out two-run single by Ivan Hartle in the seventh inning.

FAU scored its run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by senior outfielder Andy Mee that plated freshman Geoff Jimenez. Jimenez entered as a pinch-runner after sophomore pinch-hitter Mike Spano reached on an infield single. Junior catcher Mike Albaladejo lined a single to left-center field to move Jimenez to third base with one out. However, sophomore outfielder Nathan Pittman struck out to end the game as WKU reliever Brian Edelen tossed the last five innings to preserve the win.

The Owls battled back after trailing 3-1 in the third inning when senior first baseman Dan Scheffler connected on his third home run of the season to left field in the fourth inning. FAU evened the game at three apiece after junior outfielder Alex Hudak also hit his third home run on the season with a leadoff blast in the sixth inning.

FAU scored first in a game for the third time of the weekend on a single by Pittman to left field to plate Albaladejo in the third inning.

WKU (29-19, 14-10) answered with a three-run third inning to grab a 3-1 lead. Matt Rice lined a bases loaded single to plate Jordan Cessna.  Jared Andreoli scored on a wild pitch while Kes Carter had an RBI groundout to plate Hartle.

Edelen improved to 5-1 on the season with the strong relief pitching performance. The right hander struck out seven batters and scattered two hits.

FAU starting pitcher R.J. Alvarez received a no-decision, allowing three runs in 3.2 innings. Junior reliever Ahmed Garcia allowed one base hit in his 1.1 innings. Mee suffered the loss to drop to 0-2 on the season allowing the Hartle two-run single in the sixth inning.

Albaladejo paced the 10-hit offensive attack with two hits. Senior second baseman Raymond Church, senior third baseman Sean Bukovich, senior outfielder Colby Gratton, Hudak, Pittman, Spano and Scheffler each had one hit apiece. The Owls out-hit the Hilltoppers 10-7 in the rubber match of the series.

Seven players tallied a base hit for WKU, led by Hartle’s two RBIs.

Source: www.fausports.com
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