SERIES THREAD: WKU vs FAU May 17-19, 2018
What: WKU (21-29, 11-16) at Florida Atlantic (34-15-1, 17-8-1)
When: Thu, May 17th at 4:00 PM
Fri, May 18th at 6:30 PM
Sat, May 19th at 1:00 PM
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
Stream: CUSA.tv *FEE
This Owls lead 25-12 overall, but lost the last series meeting in 2017 (4-6, 5-3, 6-7).
Projected Starting Pitchers
Thu: WKU - LHP Ryan Thurston (4-5, 3.42 )
FAU - LHP Jake Miednik (6-1, 3.24)
Fri: WKU - TBA
FAU - RHP Vince Coletti (2-4, 4.17)
Sat: WKU - TBA
FAU - RHP Mark Nowatnick (3-2, 2.90)
Western Kentucky is 2-and-7 over the last three league series, and was swept by Florida International last weekend while being almost doubled-up in run production 23-14.
On Tuesday, with two outs in the bottom of the second inning, and WKU Baseball leading No. 20 Tennessee Tech by a score of 1-0, everyone was called off the field due to lightning within 10 miles of the field.
Ryan Thurston will get the Thursday nod for the Hilltoppers, followed by TBA and TBA in the final two contests. The lefty stands at 297 career strikeouts at WKU and will be making his 14th start for the third-straight year. With his second out of the game, he would surpass his career-high mark of 79.1 innings pitched.
The WKU staff has given up 41 home runs on the season, and has also issued 72 wild pitches, the third most allowed by a league member in each category. Defensively, they lead all teams with a .975 fielding mark behind just 46 errors.
Florida Atlantic went 3-of-4 for the week heading into their regular season finale against Western Kentucky. A big part of their success can be accredited to David Miranda, who was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week.
Miranda had three home runs and eight RBI for FAU during the period hitting safely in all four games. Against UCF on Tuesday, he had a double and triple, three runs scored and two RBI.
After reaching twice in the opener against Middle Tennessee, he had two home runs against the Blue Raiders Saturday, knocking in four. Miranda finished the weekend with another home run, in the top of the first, towards the series-clinching win. On the week, five of Miranda’s six hits went for extra bases.
As a team the Owls are next to last in batting at .267 but make up for it in slugging (.431, 4th C-USA). They currently rank 2nd in homers with 59, and 3rd in triples with 13.
Falling completely out the rankings for the last couple of weeks, FAU made their way back into poll consideration with a 28th showing in the NCBWA Top 30 for May 14th.
They will get some much needed help on the hill this week with the returns of both Jake Miednik and Mark Nowatnick.
Tomorrow night looks the best if the rain can clear out time but what will the field be like by then?
Saturday, well, let's not go there.
Rick saidTomorrow night looks the best if the rain can clear out time but what will the field be like by then?Posted On: May 17th 2018, 7:59 AM
I have faith in the grounds crew. Remember the massive flooding we had a couple years ago when UAB swam into town, and in the dugouts? We played a double header the following day. Whatever can be done to get these games in, the grounds crew and Coach Mac will make certain gets done.
The FAU baseball team scored nine runs in the bottom of the second, including a grand slam by David Miranda, and added five more home runs towards a convincing 15-2 win Thursday night over WKU in the first of a three-game set.
WKU (21-30, 11-17) scored first, in the first, but two possible additional runs were stranded, and three more were left on in the Hilltopper second.
In the bottom of the second, FAU put the first two runners on (an infield single by Gunnar Lambert and a walk to Joe Montes) and they were sacrificed over by Jared DeSantolo, but then the second out was recorded.
That’s when the wheels fell off for WKU pitching: Andru Summerall drew a 3-2 walk; in the midst of a walk to Cody Wilson, a wild pitch tied the game; Tyler Frank was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run; and Miranda snuck one over the rightfield fence for a grand slam. But the inning didn’t stop there: Eric Rivera singled through the five-hole, then stole second; Lambert walked; Montes doubled both of them in with a shot to right-center; and DeSantolo scored him with an opposite-field double down the leftfield line.
The bats didn’t stop there, and the pitching made that lead hold up. Jake Miednik, who worked around the first two jams, was scoreless in innings three and four, and four relievers scattered a run on four hits to close it out.
“It was a good win, it was great to see Jake back on the mound and throwing well,” said Head Coach John McCormack. “The offense really swung the bats well. It was a tough day with all the rain, but the guys handled it and played very well. I am very proud of them.”
The FAU (35-15-1, 18-8-1) third saw Summerall crush a first-pitch home run, and in the fifth, Wilson added another leadoff shot, while three batters later, Rivera annihilated an offering to left for a two-run bomb. The Owls’ scoring wrapped with back-to-back blasts to start the sixth, on another first-pitch homer by Richie Nizza, followed by Summerall’s second of the night.
Game two on Friday has already been moved up to a 2:00 PM start. The pitching matchup will be Vince Coletti for FAU going up against WKU’s Paul Kirkpatrick.
Down to their final strike and out in the bottom of the 10th, the Florida Atlantic University baseball team pushed two runs across to tie, and senior Kevin Abraham’s 11th inning sacrifice fly walked off a Friday win to clinch the final series of the season over WKU, 6-5. The Owls go for the sweep Saturday, with first pitch moved up to noon at FAU Baseball Stadium.
“Down two, Richie (Nizza) comes up with a big hit,” said Head Coach John McCormack. “Luckily we had (Steven) Revilla in motion, he goes to third … and the kid has a hard time getting a handle on it and we tie it. Zach (Schneider) was great, giving us a chance here in the bottom of the 11th, and it’s fitting on Senior Weekend that Kevin Abraham gets the game-winning RBI after everything he’s been through. It was kind of emotional.”
The Owls led 3-1 after five, but WKU (21-31, 11-18) tied it with runs in the sixth and seventh. The Hilltoppers then scored twice in the top of the 10th on a hard-hit ball that ricocheted off FAU first baseman Andru Summerall and down the rightfield line. FAU countered with singles by Eric Rivera and Gunnar Lambert to start the bottom half, and had runners on the corners with two outs. On a 2-2 count, Richie Nizza roped a liner to center, scoring Rivera, and pinch-runner Steven Revilla had taken off with the pitch, easily making it to third, and then came across himself when the ball was mishandled by the Hilltoppers’ centerfielder.
After a 1-2-3 top of the 11th, the Owls (36-15-1, 19-8-1) wasted no time getting the potential winning run on base as Cody Wilson doubled off the centerfield fence, his fourth hit of the game. Tyler Frank walked, and after a wild pitch moved both runners up, and a foulout, Rivera drew an intentional pass. On a 1-2 count, Abraham lifted a flyball to right, deep enough to plate the speedy, sliding Wilson, scoring his fourth run to send the home fans home happy.
Vince Coletti allowed two runs on seven hits in his start, striking out three in five innings.
The finale on Sunday, both of the regular season and at FAU Baseball Stadium, has been moved up to a 12:00 PM start, with Senior Day ceremonies ahead of time.
UPDATED SCHEDULE: 2018 FAU Baseball Schedule - FAU Owl's Nest