SERIES THREAD: UAB vs #18 FAU - Mar 24th - 26th, 2016
Who: UAB (9-12, 2-1) at No. 18 Florida Atlantic (15-4, 2-1)
Thursday 3/24 @ 6:30 PM
FAU: LHP Brandon Rhodes (3-2, 4.18 ERA, 32.1 IP, 32 H, 18 K, 4 BB)
UAB: LHP Ryan Ruggles (2-1, 2.36 ERA, 26.2 IP, 18 H, 17 K, 12 BB)
Friday 3/25 @ 6:30 PM
FAU: RHP Marc Stewart (3-0, 1.55 ERA, 29 IP, 20 H, 13 K, 11 BB)
UAB: RHP Tanner Graham (2-1, 1.67 ERA, 27 IP, 15 H, 14 K, 10 BB)
Saturday 3/26 @ 1:00 PM
FAU: LHP Sean Labsan (2-0, 0.90 ERA, 10 IP, 5 H, 11 K, 6 BB)
Florida Atlantic (15-4, 2-1) lost a tough battle with the top ranked Gators on Tuesday night. FAU outhit Florida 5-4, with the game basically being decided by a throwing error.
The Owls forced UF to employ six pitchers on the evening, while using just four themselves, and David McKay (5IP, 3H, 1ER, 3K) returned to the characteristics of his previous performances to open the season before being moved into a midweek role.
FAU has missed the bat of center fielder Billy Endris (pictured above), and could have used it last night. The senior is currently tied with CJ Chatham for a team best .364 AVG, and is 2nd to Esteban Puerta's 23 RBI with 16. While still recovering from a foot injury encountered last weekend, he is expected to miss about a week of action, and could make a return against UAB.
Over the weekend, Florida Atlantic won its eighth series of 2016 in their C-USA opener against Middle Tennessee. After dropping Friday's tilt 8-6, the Owls never looked back offensively, and out-scored the Blue Raiders 19-3 over the final two contests. FAU also drew an impressive 15 walks for the series, and tied a program record four double plays on Sunday.
UAB (9-12, 2-1) was one of three C-USA teams to defeat ranked programs on Tuesday night, shutting out #22 Alabama 8-0 behind center fielder Brewer Hicklen's performance. Hicklen was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two stolen bases.
The Blazers also won their opening Conference USA series over Louisiana Tech. Senior catcher Esteban Tresgallo (5 RBI) hit safely in all three outings, totaling four hits and reaching base seven times. Pitchers Ryan Ruggles and Adam Lamar combined to shut out LA Tech in the opener, allowing a total of just three hits with four strikeouts. Second baseman Evan Peterson was the star of the series-clinching 10-8 victory on Saturday, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.
The Blazers are winless on the road for 2016 with a 5-0 mark away from Regions Field. As a team, they currently sit third in league standings on the mound, but are dead last in batting average. The Owls own the top spot on the hill with a 2.56 team ERA.
FAU took two of three at UAB last season, falling 6-0 before winning 18-4 and 5-2.
Must have had three inches of rain in the last hour.
Conglomerate averages of the three major weather websites show rain and thunderstorm chances total 35% or greater for the duration of the scheduled afternoon start time up until 8:00 PM tomorrow night.
Groundscrew out early getting water off tarp. Unreal storm last night. Bad even by Florida standards. pic.twitter.com/ApBsR9rkRu— Mike Brown (@MLBBoca) March 25, 2016