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SERIES THREAD: FAU @ Western Kentucky - May 10-12, 2013

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SERIES THREAD: FAU @ Western Kentucky - May 10-12, 2013




What:á á Florida Atlantic (28-20,13-11) at Western Kentucky (24-24, 13-11)

When:á Fri, May 10 at 7:00 p.m.
á á á á á á á Sat, May 11 at 4:00 p.m.
á á á á á á á Sun, May 12 at 1:00 p.m.

WhereNick Denes Field


Audio:á á Here

Stats:á á Here

Video:á á WKUSports.TV (Fee)


Series:á FAU took 2-of-3 from the Hilltoppers in 2012 (6-5, 6-0, 1-6) and currently leads 14-9 overall.


Projected Starting Pitchers:


Fri:á á á á á FAU - LHP Austin Gomber (4-4, 3.04 ERA)
á á á á á á á WKU - LHP Tanner Perkins (3-4, 4.53 ERA)

Sat:á á á á FAU - RHP Jeremy Strawn (3-2, 3.76 ERA)
á á á á á á á WKU - RHP Andrew Edwards (5-2, 3.90 ERA)

Sun:á á á á FAU - RHP Kyle Miller (3-1, 3.86 ERA)
á á á á á á á WKU - RHP Justin Hageman (2-1, 6.21 ERA)


The Owls will hit the road the rest of the way for 2013 in league action. First up are the Hilltoppers, against which they will look to turn the tide in a hurry. At 13-11 the two teams are in a tie for 4th place in the conference.

Riding a seven game win streak heading into the Louisiana-Monroe series, FAU has seen the car put in reverse losing their last 7-of-9 contests, including the last three in a row. Tuesday was the final digit in the trend, with the Owls dropping a one hit effort to UF by the score of 7-1 in Gainesville.

Arch nemesis: After being in the drivers seat for the season, Florida Atlantic's pitching staff has lost the top Sun Belt Conference ranking falling to 2nd in the standings. Now with a 3.92 collective ERA, over a run has been added to the once 2.87 marká - also prior to action versus the Warhawks.





One win is really all that is needed to stop the bleeding, but it would also lock up a spot in the 2013 SBC Tournament. A middle Tennessee loss to ULM would also give FAU guaranteed entry.

However, a Regional Bid is likely out of the question now unless the squad can conclude regular season play with a minimum of six wins, and this would only weigh into consideration given the fact that six of the remaining seven games are on the road. Drop two, and it is going to take a tournament championship for the automatic nod to the post season field of 64.

To that notion, the Hilltoppers pose a difficult challenge lying in wait. Having performed very well at home this season while owning an 18-9 mark at Nick Denes Field, WKU is on a six series win streak, including five Sun Belt Conference series.

Recovering from injury, there was concern initially with the "permanent" return of Nelson and how his bat would respond. But he squelched those thoughts when producing an average of .364 (4-for-11) with three runs scored, two doubles and three runs batted in against UALR last weekend in Boca Raton.





From a team perspective, Florida Atlantic did drop the series (9-4, 10-14, 5-10), but showed what they are still capable of offensively when getting into a groove. What is missing lies within the chemistry the unit had prior to Nelson's departure, and they are hopeful to regain that.

As for WKU's chances, it looks like they are going to go as 1B Ryan Huck goes. The Senior saw his bat catch fire last week (.611) en route to SBC Player of the Week honors after posting multiple hits in three of the four Hilltopper games. Of note was a 5-for-5 showing against ULM in the series finale against Louisiana-Monroe on Sunday.

Collectively, WKU pounded out a season high 41 hits for the weekend and 11 of those belonged to Huck who leads the team in nearly every offensive category, including average (.348), runs (34), home runs (12), RBI (42), slugging percentage (.652), on-base percentage (.462) and walks (34).

Should WKU takes the series from the Owls this weekend, it would mark the first 20-win season at home since 2009, and just the 14th in program history.

Head to head the two teams match up fairly close, with the Owls enjoying advantages in both team hitting (+.13 r/g) and pitching (-.28 r/g). FAU is 18-7 this season when scoring first in a game and 15-4 when that happens in the first inning.
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Re: SERIES THREAD: FAU @ Western Kentucky - May 10-12, 2013

Looks like the boys have some potential quality entertainment in store tonight on the road.......





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Re: SERIES THREAD: FAU @ Western Kentucky - May 10-12, 2013

A clarification to make on the Owls locking up an SBC spot, as I did not connect the dots on this properly, and the scenario is like this:

A win AND an MTSU loss will give the Owls a lock.

Otherwise, they will need to win TWO games….

Bottom line:

WIN!
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