SERIES THREAD: UAB vs FAU - May 15th - 17th, 2014
What: UAB (34-16, 19-8 C-USA) at FAU (26-24, 12-15 C-USA)
When: Thu, May 15th at 6:30 PM
Fri, May 16th at 6:30 PM
Sat, May 17th at 11:00 AM
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
Projected Starting Pitchers
Thu: UAB - RHP Chase Mallard (9-1, 1.13 ERA)
FAU - LHP Austin Gomber (2-6, 3.41 ERA)
Fri: UAB - RHP Alex Luna (7-0, 1.41 ERA)
FAU - RHP Jeremy Strawn (4-6, 3.62 ERA)
Sat: UAB - RHP Johnny Lieske (4-2, 2.39 ERA)
FAU - RHP Drew Jackson (5-3, 3.90 ERA)
After beating conference rival FIU 5-1, the Owls will finish their five game home stand and close the regular season with a three game series vs the 30th ranked UAB Blazers (34-16, 19-8).
Currently ninth in league standings, the Owls are in danger of not making the Conference USA tournament in their inaugural season in the league after making it to the Regionals last year in their final season in the Sun Belt Conference.
Making the tournament will be no easy task for the Owls as they will need to bring out the brooms and sweep the Blazers. The Owls have yet to record a series sweep all season. The Owls will also need help to make the conference tournament as either FIU, East Carolina, or Middle Tennessee State need to be swept as well.
Additionally, UAB has been swept only once this year, losing three straight to the Rice Owls. Afterwards, they responded with 10 straight wins and are hitting their stride with postseason play approaching.
The Blazers are led by their pitching as they have the third best team ERA in Conference USA with 3.61 and best opposing batting average in Conference USA, holding batters to a .227 average.
The catalyst for the Blazers pitching staff has been senior Chase Mallard. Mallard's 1.13 ERA is second best in Conference USA and sixth best in NCAA. Mallard's opposing batting average is .178, best in Conference USA.
For the Owls to keep their season going the offense will have to put runs on the board and take the pressure off of the Owls' pitching staff to match UAB inning for inning. Freshman infielder Stephen Kerr leads the Owls in batting average hitting .332.
However, it will be up to senior left fielder Tyler Rocklein to use his combination of speed and power to generate runs. Rocklein leads the team with three triples and must use his senior leadership to lead the offense in what will be his last series at FAU Stadium.
After missing the last few game due to soreness, junior south paw pitcher Austin Gomber will be available for the series and will start game 1, giving a huge boost to the Owls' pitching staff. However, junior infielder Mitch Morales will be unavailable for the entirety of the series after receiving feedback on a prior injury Tuesday. Should the Owls make the conference tournament his availability is listed as questionable.
FAU seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony before Friday's game. They include Kevin Alexander, Andrew Archer, Robert Buckley, Alex Koji, Levi Meyer, Tyler Rocklein, Jeremy Strawn and Jimmy Tornabene.
The weather forecast for the series finale is initially wet with an 80 percent chance of rain on Thursday, which tapers down to 30 percent on Friday, and then 20 percent on Saturday.
MTSU's win tonight puts them in as in all possible tiebreakers they are ahead of FIU or FAU.
FIU leading 6-1 in 7th. A win puts them in.
mlbboca saidFIU leading 6-1 in 7th. A win puts them in.Posted On: May 15th 2014, 9:39 PM
FINAL: #FIU 9, Tulane 1.....The Panthers are officially heading to Hattiesburg.— FIU Baseball (@FIUBaseball) May 16, 2014
We're down to ECU being swept, and sweeping ourselves…
Local Owl saidWhat a shame. We had the the type of pitching that could have taken us deep into a tourney, but this years bats were weak. I'd like to see us get some players with the size and power of some of our opponents. We seem to always have a very small team. Nice year . Maybe our young guys will develop into hitters. CJ already proved he can hit college pitching.
Posted On: May 16th 2014, 6:01 AM
Hard to say "nice year" when a team had national attention at the beginning of the season and it did not even make it's conference tournament.
Guest saidHard to say "nice year" when a team had national attention at the beginning of the season and it did not even make it's conference tournament.Posted On: May 16th 2014, 7:00 AM
It could go both ways…
Hard to believe that a league could be so good that a .500 conference record wouldn't get them into their league's tournament.
This ain't the Sun Belt.