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SERIES THREAD: FAU vs. Rice - March 15th-17th, 2019


Diamond Owls Open C-USA Play with Struggling Rice

What: Rice (8-11) vs. Florida Atlantic (11-7)

When: Friday, March 15th at 6:30 PM
           Saturday, March 16th at 4:00 PM
           Sunday, March 17th at 12:00 PM

Where: FAU Baseball Stadium

Video: CUSA.tv

Live Stats: Here

Rice Team Site: Here

Series: Rice owns a 14-7-1 edge over FAU.

Projected Starting Pitchers:


FAU - R-Sr, RHP Blake Sanderson (3-0, 3.33)
Rice - Jr. RHP Matt Canterino (1-2, 1.50)


FAU - Jr. RHP Mike Ruff (2-0, 6.75)
Rice - Sr. LHP Evan Kravetz (1-1, 4.35)


Rice - Sr. RHP Jackson Parthasarathy (2-2, 2.05)

FAU at a Glance

Winner of eight of their last nine, the Owls from Boca Raton conclude their 12-game home stand while kicking off the C-USA slate.

These two sides have grown to know (and dislike) each other, having meet six times in 2018. FAU only lost one of those contests, with four ending in close wins to the good (two of which coming in the C-USA Tournament) and another ending in a controversial tie.

Last time out, FAU secured a two-game sweep over the Quinnipiac Bobcats, beating their guests from Connecticut 7-0 on Tuesday and 7-4 on Wednesday. Francisco Urbaez hit a home run in both games, while joining Bobby Morgensen with three hits over the set.

Urbaez continues to pace the Owls with a .393 AVG, .493 on base percentage, and .768 slugging. His five homers is tied for C-USA's top spot.

Blake Sanderson gets the nod as FAU's Fridaty SP for the fifth time of the season. Last week vs. Northeastern, the ace gave up 8 H, 4R, and no walks while striking out five in a complete game.

Mike Ruff replaces Ryan Sandberg as the Saturday SP after a fantastic outing last Sunday. Ruff retired 15 straight after giving up an opening homer to Northeastern for a 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, and 5 K day.

Sunday's starter will be pure speculation, but look for either Vince Coletti or Hunter Cooley to get the nod for first-pitch at high noon.

John McCormack's ballclub was tabbed to finish third in the 2019 C-USA Preseason Poll, a spot above Rice.

Rice at a Glance

Rice Head Coach Matt Bragga has a problem in Houston, with his Owls dropping four of the last six. Bragga replaces Wayne Graham, who managed the Owls to a CWS Championship in 2003, seven CWS appearances, and 11 conference championships.

The Houston Owls split two home games this week, beating Lamar 12-5, before being shut out by Texas State 5-0. The weekend prior, Oklahoma took two of three against them.

Rice's weekend SP trio of Canterino, Kravetz, and Parthasarathy have started every weekend series on the young season. Canterino was named the Preseason C-USA Pitcher of the Year.

Sophomore SS Trei Cruz ties Urbaez with five home runs for the league lead, and is the conference's top run scorer with 21. Third baseman Bradley Gneiting paces C-USA in hits with 31.

This series will include Rice's first game outside the Lone Star State this season.

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We're about to get underway from FAU Baseball Stadium.

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We're on the board early! SHOCKER, Urbaez already has a hit, run, and an RBI.

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Sandy works his way into a jam, then gets himself out of it!

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FAU's bats have gone cold since their hot start.

Sanderson's day is done after a 6.0 IP outing where he gave up 2 R, 6 H, 5 BB, but earning 5 K.

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It wasn't pretty, but the boys go it done! That's FAU's six straight win and third straight over Rice, dating back to the 2018 C-USA Tournament.

UPDATED SCHEDULE: 2019 FAU Baseball Schedule - FAU Owl's Nest

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FAU brings home the win in the first of 3 games against Rice. The guys put up a solid performance both offensively and defensively, which looks like it’s becoming a trend for FAU as we win our sixth straight.

Blake Sanderson (4-0, 3.27) had a bit of a rocky start, but pulled it together quite quickly, holding the Rice Owls at 0 runs until the 6th inning when the other Owls brought one run in.

Frankie Urbaez (1R, 2H, .400) who has recently been referred to as a “walking highlight reel” had yet another stellar night offensively. With two outs in the bottom of the 1st, Urbaez came in clutch with a huge RBI double to bring Rivera home.

Andru “Udie” Summerall, Jared DeSantolo, and Frankie Urbaez brought in the other 3 runs of the evening, all of which were in the 1st.

Rice managed to hold FAU to four runs for the remainder of the night, but they fought back hard defensively, only allowing 2 runs with no errors.

Closer Zach Schneider secured the victory when he was brought in, finishing up the game with just one man left on base.

Our Owls look to win our first in conference series as we head into tomorrow’s game at 4pm. I look forward to seeing you all on the berm!
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Through four and a half innings, FAU baseball trailed Rice, 5-1. Three home innings and 11 hits and runs later, they had set season highs in both those categories, and have taken the first two against the visiting Owls to clinch the home series – and first Conference USA set – of the season.

Rice (8-13, 0-2 C-USA) scored four in the first, and again, led 5-1 heading to the bottom of the fifth.

After an out to start, the FAU (13-7, 2-0 C-USA) rally began when Eric Rivera and Gunnar Lambert both walked. Following a wild pitch, Francisco Urbaez then lined a single up the middle to plate them both.

Andru Summerall and Pedro Pages notched back-to-back singles to load the bases, and a Bobby Morgensen sacrifice fly cut it to a one-run game.

“Down 4-0 and then 5-1, and guys just kept battling and battling against a really good pitcher", said Head Coach John McCormack.

With two out, Joe Montes doubled to right-center to give FAU the lead, and pinch-hitter Mitchell Hartigan pushed in another with a single for a six-run inning to make it 7-5.

FAU then scored three in the sixth (a Rivera solo home run, plus RBI singles by Pages and Montes) and two more in the seventh (a Lambert RBI double and Summerall run-scoring single).

"That was a really big-time inning where we scored six, and we were able to score three the next inning … Just a really good job, proud of the guys", McCormack said.

Reliever Hunter Cooley pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth to pick up the victory, and Dylan Carter and Jacob Josey closed out the league win, FAU’s seventh straight victory overall (and 10th win in the last 11).

Starter Mike Ruff struck out five in four innings, and gave up just one run in his final three innings, before giving way to Cooley.

Sunday's finale has been moved up to 11:00 AM due to weather concerns, with Florida Atantic looking to close matters out with a sweep.

- FAU Baseball SID Jonathan Fraysure

UPDATED SCHEDULE: 2019 FAU Baseball Schedule - FAU Owl's Nest
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Rice took the early lead after getting on the board with a big home run in the 1st but Ruff managed to hold them at 4 runs until the 4th when they added one more run

FAU 1 - Rice 5 | Top of 5th

FAU had a tough start today with Mike Ruff giving up a 2-run homer to Rice in the 1st. Francisco Urbaez came in clutch once again with an RBI double in the 3rd to put the Owl’s only run on the board
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The performed extremely well under pressure this inning, bringing in 3 runs with 2 outs on the board. They're really becoming such an exciting team to watch this season!

FAU 7 - Rice 5 | Bottom of 5th

A HUGE inning for FAU! The Owls brought in 6 runs to give them the lead heading into the 6th
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