SERIES THREAD: FAU @ UTSA - Mar 27th - 29th, 2015
What: FAU (20-5, 4-2 C-USA) at UTSA (14-11, 4-2 C-USA)
When: Fri, Mar 27th at 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 28th at 3:00 PM
Sun, Mar 29th at 1:00 PM
Where: Roadrunner Field
The Roadrunners lead 2-1.
Projected Starting Pitchers:
Fri: FAU - RHP Kyle Miller (3-1, 3.41 ERA)
UTSA - RHP Brock Hartson (1-1, 3.72 ERA)
Sat: FAU - RHP Drew Jackson (4-0, 0.72 ERA)
UTSA - RHP Aaron Burns (4-1, 1.16 ERA)
Sun: FAU - LHP Brandon Rhodes (0-0, 3.38 ERA)
UTSA - LHP Nolan Trabanino (0-4, 6.56 ERA)
The Owls will take the road for their second C-USA road series this weekend, embarking on the 1,144 mile journey to the Lone Star State for what is also the second time thanks to conference realignment. FAU had a disappointing trip in 2014 and lost 2-of-3 in (4-6, 0-6, 3-0) in San Antonio.
UTSA (59) and FAU (54) are 1st and 2nd in C-USA and 5th and 16th in the nation in doubles. Ricky Santiago (photo above) leads the Owls in doubles with 9, which is 3rd in C-USA behind conference co-leader Trent Bowles of UTSA and his 11. Bowles suffered a concussion last weekend, missed the final game of that series, the two mid-week games this week, and is questionable for a return to the field this weekend.
Florida Atlantic is nationally ranked at 20th in the Perfect Game poll and 25th in the NCBWA poll. In RPI, the Owls go into the weekend ranked 15th. While tied with UTSA and Western Kentucky for third in C-USA play, at 20-5 FAU holds a commanding lead in overall winning percentage in the conference at .800, followed by Southern Miss (14-8 .636) and Rice (17-10 .630).
Offensively, the Owls and Roadrunners have nearly identical SLG at .432 and .423, respectively. With 15 home runs on the year, the Roadrunners lead the Owls by one. Otherwise, the Owls have significant leads in BA (.312 vs .284) where the Owls are 8th in the nation, OBP (.408 vs .366), K/BB ratio (1.04 vs 2.02), and Florida Atlantic is 6th nationally with 7.9 runs per game compared to 5.8 for UTSA. The Roadrunners tend to be aggressive at the plate, which may bode well for the Owls starters, who tend to pound the strikezone, going deep into the games.
The Roadrunners are lead by Tyler Straub (BA .353), Jesse Baker (BA .348), Kevin Markham (BA .330) and CJ Pickering (BA .307) at the plate. While hitting .247, Matt Hilston leads all Roadrunners with 16 RBI.
The Owls counter with Stephen Kerr (BA .349), Brendon Sanger (BA .337), Ricky Santiago (BA .333), Christian Dicks (BA .325), Esteban Puerta (BA .325), Roman Collins (BA .319) and CJ Chatham (BA .315). Brett Lashley (BA .299) just misses out on the .300 club, but further contributes with his 14th in the nation 7 sacrifice bunts and 3rd in the nation 5 sacrifice flies. Ricky Santiago and Roman Collins lead the Owls with 25 RBI, tying them for 36th nationally.
Friday's matchup has Kyle Miller bringing his 10th in the nation K/BB ratio of 15.5 and 8th in the nation BB/9IP of 0.57 up against the Roadrunners Brock Hartson. Hartson pitched a complete game versus Western Kentucky last weekend, throwing only 111 pitches to the point of two out in the top of the 9th in a 3-3 tie before giving up a walk, single, and double resulting in two runs and taking the loss. Hartson has struck out 36 in 38.2 inning of work.
Saturday's matchup has Drew Jackson bringing his 4th in the nation 0.72 ERA and 10th in the nation 4.58 hits allowed per nine innings up against Nolan Trabanino. Trabanino has logged 23.1 innings in his six starts and holds a 3.2 K/BB ratio. Trabanino went 4 inning giving up 4 runs, all earned, on 5 hits, 2 walks, a hit batter, and two strikeouts and taking the loss against Western Kentucky last weekend.
Sunday's matchup has Brandon Rhodes and his 1.41 BB/9IP (4th C-USA, 93rd nationally) up against Aaron Burns. Burns has logged 23.1 inning in 6 appearances, including three starts. His opponent batting average of .232 leads the Roadrunner's starters this weekend, and his WHIP is a stingy 1.17. Last weekend he turned in a 7-inning, 82-pitch complete game shutout against Western Kentucky allowing 5 hits, a walk, and a hit better while striking out 4. All of the hits were singles, two of which were of the infield variety. only two runners reached second base.
Overall, the Florida Atlantic pitching staff is 8th in the nation with a K/BB ratio of 3.8, 14th in the nation in with a WHIP of 1.12, and is tied with UTSA at 4th in the nation with 4 shutouts. All three FAU starters are in the top 6 in C-USA for allowing the fewest BB/9IP.
In their last tune-up before hosting the FAU, UTSA defeated Incarnate Word 6-5 Wednesday night. Jesse Baker went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Though going 0-for-4 against Texas A&M on Tuesday, Baker is 11 for 25 in the week leading up to this series.
UTSA is 10-6 at Roadrunner Field on the year and the Owls enter the series with a 4-0 mark away from FAU Baseball Stadium.
Unlike last year's series which saw Sunday's game pushed to Saturday in a double-header, the weekend's action should go as planned with no chance of rain showing the entire time. Game temps should stay in the low to mid 70's with low humidity throughout as well.
Coach Mac has FAU Baseball ready to take on the UTSA Roadrunners in San Antonio. The first pitch for this C-USA Conference series is scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT.
FAU: 2b Kerr, 1b Lashley, rf Sanger, 3b Santiago, cf Collins, dh Puerta, lf Dicks, ss Chatham, c Miller R, p Miller K
UTSA: cf Markham, lf Hilston, rf Baker, ss Straub, c Bormann, 2b Correa, 3b Pickering, 1b Jackson, dh Trabanino, p Hartson
Kerr grounds out to short, and we are underway in San Antonio.— FAU Owl's Nest (@TheOwlsNest_ITB) March 27, 2015
Hilston singles but Sangers throws him out at 2b trying to stretch to 2B, Miller Ks 2 in bottom 1. 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB scoreless tie End 1— FAU Owl's Nest (@TheOwlsNest_ITB) March 27, 2015
Back-to-back bloop singles lead to a UTSA run. UTSA in 2nd 1 R, 2 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. End 2, UTSA 1, FAU 0— FAU Owl's Nest (@TheOwlsNest_ITB) March 27, 2015