SERIES THREAD: LA Tech @ FAU - Mar 14th - 16th, 2014
What: LA Tech (6-10, 1-2 C-USA) at FAU (12-6, 1-2 C-USA)
When: Fri, Mar 14th at 6:30 PM
Sat, Mar 15th at 4:00 PM
Sun, Mar 16th at 1:00 PM
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
Projected Starting Pitchers:
Fri: LTU - RHP Adam Deroun (0-1, 4.66 ERA)
FAU - LHP Austin Gomber (1-2, 5.73 ERA)
Sat: LTU - RHP Phil Maton (1-2, 3.91 ERA)
FAU - RHP Jeremy Strawn (2-2, 2.38 ERA)
Sun: LTU - RHP Richie Navari (3-0, 1.61 ERA)
FAU - RHP Drew Jackson (2-0, 2.49 ERA)
The Owls open the home slate of league action coming off a 1-1 midweek split (3-2 L, 15-6 W) against Maine. FAU’s 20 hits on Wednesday were the most since putting up 21 against former Sun Belt foe Troy back on April 30, 2011.
Prior to last weekend, the team had not been shut out in 61 games. Of course that ended with Saturday's 6-0 loss to UTSA. And while there have been some early letdowns, taking a look at recent history puts things in perspective for the team as this point in the year - being 18 games into the schedule.
Head to head over last season, FAU is actually offensively ahead of a squad that nearly shocked the baseball world with a regional series win over North Carolina in the end. The 2013 version of the Owls had seven long balls through 18 games, and so does the 2014 unit. RBI actually favors the latter, 91-90. Total runs? You guessed it, this year's team wins that as well 101-98. Lastly, team batting average is .14 runs better (.299 to .285). Bottom line, the season is early and maturity is sure to play its hand before all is said and done.
Florida Atlantic may see the return of shortstop Mitch Morales at some point over the weekend. Morales is listed as day-to-day as his condition continues to improve, but was referenced as hopeful. Offensively, freshman Stephen Kerr continues to lead the way with a .388 mark (6th C-USA, min 20 appearances), which includes five doubles.
Moving on to the opposition, this weekend marks the second consecutive road series for the Bulldogs, who lost twice to Texas A&M last weekend before defeating the No. 25-ranked Aggies Sunday 5-1 in College Station. They will be facing the Owls for the first time as a a fellow C-USA newcomer.
Shortstop Taylor Love is leading the Bulldogs at the plate with a .345 batting average this season, and also offers team bests in both team hits (19) and runs (10). As a unit, LA Tech is hitting .247 this season with 19 doubles, a triple and nine home runs.
In what could be considered an odd line-up on the mound, the Bulldogs (5.83 Team ERA, last C-USA) are currently throwing their best pitcher on Sunday's. RHP Richie Navari is sporting a 1.61 ERA and has three wins under his belt.
The Pittsburgh native had his battles with injury last year, struggling with control. But so far in 2014 he's been lights out and that is something the coaching staff did not want to mess with when faced with the possibility of moving him into the Friday night slot.
Four of the Bulldogs' 12 games have been extra inning affairs, with a 2-2- mark in those contests. They have won two in a row, and like the Owls are 2-3 over their last five tilts.