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Series Thread: South Alabama @ FAU - April 6-8, 2012


Series Thread: South Alabama @ FAU - April 6-8, 2012

What: † † †South Alabama (11-18, 6-3) at Florida Atlantic (20-10, 8-1)

When: † † †Fri, Apr. 6th at 6:30 PM
† † † † † † † Sat, Apr. 7th at 4:00 PM
† † † † † † † Sun, Apr. 8th at 1:00 PM

Where: † † FAU Baseball Stadium

Live Stats †Here

Series: † † †Florida Atlantic leads 10-6, and won the last outing 12-10 in Mobile, Ala.

Projected Starting Pitchers:

Friday: † † †FAU - RHP Ryan Garton (5-2, 2.20 ERA, 41 K, 9 BB)

† † † † † † † USA - LHP Phillip Byrd (3-0, 3.34 EA, 32 K, 9 BB)

Saturday: †FAU - RHP Jake Meiers (2-3, 9.82 ERA, 16 K, 5 BB)

† † † † † † † USA - RHP Anthony Izzio (4-1, 2.84 ERA, 35 K, 11 BB)

Sunday: † †FAU - LHP Austin Gomber (3-1, 2.25 ERA, 36 K, 18 BB)

† † † † † † † USA - RHP Jarron Cito (2-3, 6.11 ERA, 31 K, 19 BB)

Florida Atlantic will put their first place Sun Belt standing on the line when they play host to South Alabama this weekend. And it comes at a good time with the squad being recognized with a 30th national ranking in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll.

After outscoring Louisiana-Lafayette 20-8 overall for their third sweep on the season last weekend, the team picked up a 3-2 mid-week contest win on Tuesday night over cross town foe Lynn University. The game was a little too close for comfort as the Knights led 2-1 late, but FAU job got done in the end as Mitch Morales' (photo) bases loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth secured the victory.

Right fielder Corey Keller continues to be solid at the plate, going 2-of-3 against the Knights after a stellar 8-of-11 performance against ULL which earned him conference honors as Player of the Week.

With him tapping the grass over the wall twice in the team's six round trippers against the Ragin' Cajuns, FAU moved up a bit in the national scene in that category, and now sits comfortably at 13th in team homers. Just for the record, the total squad tally last year was 35, and there are still 25 regular season games to play for 2012.

Despite their respectable mark of 6-3, South Alabama enters the weekend at the bottom of the pile in the Sun Belt with a team ERA of 5.56 (10th), and a 2.60 mark at the plate (9th).

The Jaguars took three from Louisiana-Monroe (20-13, 11-3, 8-1) in late March, but lost last weekend's series tilt against Middle Tennessee 1-2 (7-5, 3-12, 1-17), whom Florida Atlantic bested 2-1 (1-5, 4-1, 3-0).

From a common non conference opponent standpoint, the Owls also swept SEC opponent Alabama 3-0 in Birmingham to begin the year, while the Jaguars have lost two contests (3-4 A, 5-9 H) in split locales.

Junior LF Nick Zaharion is a one man wrecking machine for the Jaguars statistically, topping the roster in batting average (.346), hits (36), RBI (31), slugging percentage (.558) and on-base percentage (.433). Center fielder Jordan Patterson's (.315) six homers is currently pacing long ball efforts.

The Owls are 18-0 on the season when ahead after seven innings, and have three tossers in the top six in ERA within the Sun Belt - Kevin Alexander 3rd, Ryan Garton 4th, and Austin Gomber 6th.

Leading hitter Alex Hudak (.421) is yet to be cleared by the medical staff, and will be evaluated again tomorrow for possible appearances in the lineup over the weekend. However, it is unlikely he will be positioned on the defensive side of the ball.

South Alabama has a 6-8 road record in 2012 thus far.
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Re: Series Thread: South Alabama @ FAU - April 6-8, 2012

Game One


USA 5 †FAU 7

FAU took game one on Friday night 7-5 over South Alabama to pick up their fifth straight win and remain at the top of the Sun Belt standings.

With the wind blowing out, the Owls (21-10, 9-1) got ahead early in the 2nd as Geoff Jimenez swatted a two run shot over the wall in center field, bringing in Mike Spano, who had drawn a walk earlier.

South Alabama picked up their first score immediately thereafter on a solo lead off homer by catcher Brent Mitchell to trim the margin, but FAU answered again in their turn to make it 3-1 and keep a two run lead in place.

The Jaguars would do it again in the 6th, pulling to within a score with RF Nolan Earley poking a lead another lead off shot past the wall in center.

After USA intentionally walked Corey Keller, the Owls had a bags loaded situation in the bottom of the 6th when Mark Nelson (photo) approached the plate 0-for-3 on the night. He made the most of this trip this time though, connecting for a 2RBI single and a establishing a 6-2 lead for the home team.

Out for his seventh inning of work, Garton surrendered another lead off homer as the Jaguars continued to battle back. He would walk and then hit another batter, putting runners on the corners, and soon had Coach McCormack heading to the mound as USA (11-19, 6-4) clipped the margin to just two scores.

His replacement, Ahmed Garcia, popped the first batter he faced as well, and South Alabama used a sac fly to make it just a one run affair at 6-5 thereafter.

Taking no chances, Florida Atlantic went to R.J. Alvarez in the 8th. The speedballer did his job, striking out five of the last six South Alabama batters.

FAU added a run in their last at bat for the final score.

Alex Hudak made his first appearance in 20 games in a pinch hit role in the 7th, but grounded out. Mike Albaladejo was 2-of-3 with a RBI and three runs scored for the Owls.

South Alabama saw no players with more than a hit on the evening.

Game two is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. first pitch tomorrow.
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Re: Series Thread: South Alabama @ FAU - April 6-8, 2012

Game Two


USA 7 †FAU 10

The Owls pounded out 16 hits on Saturday en route to a 10-7 win over the Jags in game two.

Dylan Seigel (photo) went 4-for-4, with 4RBI, including a two run homer in the 6th.

Florida Atlantic (22-10, 10-1) scored runs in five turns at bat, and battled back †from a 4-0 deficit over the third and fourth innings to tie thanks to a seven hit spree including four doubles and three singles.

The Jaguars would retake the lead briefly at 5-4 in the top of the 5th, however the Owls rattled off five more over scores during their next two trips to the plate to lead the rest of the way.

Starter Jake Meiers went 4 1/3 innings, allowing three earns runs off seven hits, prior to giving way to Bo Logan. Logan picked up his second win on the season to improve to 2-2 overall after seeing 2 2/3 innings and receiving relief from Michael Sylvestri, and Ahmed Garcia.

Alex Hudak notched hits first hit since retuning to the line-up, a double in the 6th to right that scored Nathan Pittman.

Geoff Jimenez was 3-of-5 on the afternoon, and scored two runs. He could have seen the other side of the plate more, but was left on base three times for the contest, as was Mike Albaladejo.

Nick Zaharion, Brad Hook and Brent Mitchell had two hits s a piece for the Jaguars (11-20, 6-5), who have now lost five straight.

Finding themselves in familiar territory, FAU will go for the sweep tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.
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Re: Series Thread: South Alabama @ FAU - April 6-8, 2012

Game Three


USA 7 †FAU 4

As has been the case all series, game three was another relatively close contest. But this time the Owls came out of the opposite end, falling 7-4 to South Alabama on Sunday in the final tilt of the weekend series.

The Owls (22-11, 10-2) took a 1-0 lead in their first at bat, but USA answered with solo efforts in the third and fourth innings to assume control of the game.

FAU had their most productive frame of the game in the fourth, when Mitch Morales dropped a triple into center field that scored both Geoff Jimenez and Ricky Santiago.

However, the Jags would respond with their biggest inning in the 6th, scoring three runs off reliever Julian Loret del Mol to go ahead 6-3.

Santiago recorded his fourth homer on the year in the bottom of the inning to give the Owls their final run before the Jags countered once more in the eighth for the final difference.

The team had two on board in the ninth with just one out, but could not move the opportunity to the scoreboard.

South Alabama (12-20, 7-5), who took advantage of a pair of Owls errors to score two runs on the afternoon, out hit Florida Atlantic 14-9 and had four players post two or more.

Santiago was FAUís most productive presence at the plate, notching a 2-of-3 performance with two runs scored and an RBI.

Austin Gomber (3-2) took the loss for the Owls, scattering six hits over five innings for one earned run, and striking out five.

The squad will next travel to Florida Gulf Coast University †for a mid-week affair on Tuesday. First pitch is 6:30 p.m.
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