SERIES THREAD: Monmouth vs FAU - Feb 21-23, 2014
What: Monmouth (0-0) at Florida Atlantic (3-1)
When: Fri, Feb 21st at 6:30 PM
Sat, Feb 22nd at 4:00 PM
Sun, Feb 23rd at 1:00 PM
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
Audio: Fri & Sun Here
The Owls own a 27-5 mark against the Hawks.
Projected Starting Pitchers:
Fri: Mon - LHP Andrew McGee (8-2, 2.12 ERA) *
FAU - LHP Austin Gomber (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Sat: Mon - RHP T.J. Hunt (4-4, 5.07 ERA) *
FAU - RHP Jeremy Strawn (1-0, 4.15 ERA)
Sun: Mon - RHP TBA (5-3, 4.18 ERA)
FAU - RHP Drew Jackson (1-0, 1.80 ERA)
It's been a few years since the Owls faced Monmouth, with FAU getting the sweep last time on the diamond in 2011 (8-4, 6-2, 9-5).
Prior to that there was some drama. In March, 2009 Florida Atlantic had a 9-5 lead as fans partook in the 7th inning tradition of singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game. However, the Hawks rallied to tie in the tip half of the ninth inning off three runs. FAU went on to win 10-9 off a two-out RBI single.
"Monmouth is a very good team with a lot of older players. Over the years we have always had good games with them", said Coach John McCormack.
The Owls (3-1) defeated No. 11 Miami 5-2 in Coral Gables on Wednesday. Sophomore Brandon Rhodes earned the victory for the Owls as Kevin Alexander picked up his first save of his senior campaign. It was Rhodes second win against the Canes in just as many years.
A big part of FAU's start to the year offensive has been the play of shortstop Stephen Kerr (photo), who continues to fill in for an injured Mitch Morales. Kerr nabbed 2-of-3 at the plate, and posted an RBI to boot on Wednesday. Against Notre Dame last weekend, he was 6-of-9. Accordingly, his play has McCormack singing his praises as one if the top newcomers on the squad.
"He has played a good shortstop, he has gotten hits, and has played older than his age", McCormack said.
Levi Meyer and Kerr are each batting better than .600 through four games with Meyer leading Florida Atlantic with 7 RBI. The Owls have 10 players on the roster who have collected multiple RBI.
With their first four games were cancelled due to inclimate weather, the Hawks will be playing their first inning of contest action on Friday night. Moving from the Northeast Conference, they will also be playing their first season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference where they were picked to finish 2nd.
The squad won 30 games in 2013 and returns 22 letter winners from the campaign.
In the infield, second baseman Jake Gronsky was tabbed preseason all conference after a .302 average and a team-high 13 doubles, and third baseman Danny Avella returns from an early season injury last year to bolster some power hitting in the line-up. In the outfield, the team returns all three starters.
On the hill Friday will be ace Andrew McGee, who was named 2013 NEC Pitcher of the Year putting up an 8-2 record with a 2.12 ERA, seven complete games, two shutouts, and 69 strikeouts in a program single-season record 110.1 innings pitched.