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Series Thread: Louisiana-Lafayette @ FAU - Mar 30-31 & Apr 1st, 2012

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Series Thread: Louisiana-Lafayette @ FAU - Mar 30-31 & Apr 1st, 2012

What:      Louisiana-Lafayette (13-11, 3-3) at Florida Atlantic (16-10, 5-1)

When:      Fri, Mar. 30th at 6:30 PM
              Sat, Mar. 31st at 4:00 PM
              Sun, Apr. 1st at 1:00 PM

Where:     FAU Baseball Stadium

Live Stats  Here

Series:      The Cajuns enjoy an 8-6 mark overall against the Owls, winning the last meeting 5-2 on April 3, 2011.

Projected Starting Pitchers:

Friday:      FAU - RHP Ryan Garton (4-2, 2.09 ERA, 36 K, 8 BB)

              ULL - RHP Jordan Nicholson (3-1, 3.22 ERA, 28 K, 5 BB)

Saturday:  FAU - TBA

              ULL - LHP Chris Griffitt (3-2, 4.33 ERA, 18 K, 5 BB)

Sunday:    FAU - LHP Austin Gomber (2-1, 2.45 ERA, 29 K, 15 BB)

              ULL - TBA

With just one win in their last five bouts at FAU Baseball Stadium, the Owls will be looking to get things back on track in Boca Raton. Normally a place of victory, the team has just an 8-7 mark therein as we begin to approach the midpoint of the 2012 season.

Florida Atlantic left 13 runners on base in Tuesday's 11-3 fall to #17 Central Florida, and had Coach John McCormack up in arms about the lack of offensive production at key moments.

But it couldn't be blamed on SB/C Mike Albaladejo (photo), who was 4-of-5 with 1RBI in the loss. Albaladejo joined Corey Keller (3-of-4, 2RBI) to combine for seven of the team's 11 hits on the evening, and retook the top spot in batting amongst active players by improving his season mark to .363 at the plate. Alex Hudak, who is still recovering from an injury, remains the overall leader (.421).

They will need to string things together better against the Cajuns though, who are just a hair below them in team batting (.273 to .283) with three hitters seeing .321 or better and being more than capable of heading home with a series win should the bats go quiet for the home team.

Senior shortstop Ryan Leonard (.348, 9th SBC) paves the way offensively for the Ragin Cajuns along side 1B Chase Compton (.337) with 31 hits. The pair has combined for just one ball over the wall though, leaving that task up to OF Dylan Butler, whose six blasts are tied for 3rd in the league.

On the hill, ULL sports a Team ERA of 3.77 (2nd SBC), which virtually equals that of the their two announced starters in Nicholson and Griffitt (3.76 combined). Should Kevin Alexander (4-0, 2.01 ERA) take the mound in the TBA spot for FAU, a combined overall mark of 2.18 would be in the Owls' favor with the likely players to get the nod for ULL being either Austin Robichaux (5.29 ERA) or Joe Zimmerman (7.50 ERA).

The Cajuns are coming off a 0-5 loss to #15 LSU on Tuesday night after dropping a 1-2 series decision to conference foe Arkansas State  (9-2, 4-6, 7-8) last weekend.
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Re: Series Thread: Louisiana-Lafayette @ FAU - Mar 30-31 & Apr 1st, 2012

Game One


ULL 3  FAU 7

The Owls hit three homeruns en route to a 7-3 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns in game one at FAU Baseball Stadium on Friday night.

Louisiana-Lafayette struck first blood, rattling Owl starter Ryan Garton for five hits and a 2-0 lead after two frames.

But the Owls (17-10, 6-1) had a big third, plating three runs off a two long balls. Robert Buckley (photo), who saw his first action since March 4th in an 8-5 win over Princeton, swatted the first to score Mike Albaladejo. Corey Keller sent the second over the wall, a solo effort to center.

After adding a run in the fourth inning, FAU’s third round tripper would come in the sixth, as Mike Spano’s blast to right field chased ULL starter Jordan Nicholson from the mound. Mitch Morales later singled to make it 6-2, plating Geoff Jimenez (1-for-3, 2 runs).

ULL (13-12, 3-4) pulled one digit closer at 6-3 in the seventh courtesy of an error by 3B Kyle Newton, but were finished for the night afterwards.

Keller (2-for-3) would pick up his second RBI in the 7th, pushing in Dylan Seigel for the game’s final run.

Garton (5-2) saw 6 1/3 innings of action, giving up 11 hits, and allowing three runs – two of which were earned.

Ahmed Garcia tossed the rest of the way for Florida Atlantic, giving up two hits and striking out two, while earning his first save of the year.

The Cajuns posted 13 hits to that of nine for the Owls, but FAU saw extra bases in four of them.

The teams return to the field tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. for game two.
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Re: Series Thread: Louisiana-Lafayette @ FAU - Mar 30-31 & Apr 1st, 2012

Per Baseball SID Dale Long via Twitter:

Baseball: FAU and ULL postponed and doubleheader set for Sunday at 11 a.m. Second game will start 30 minutes after the completion of first

There is no score, and game two will resume in the top of the third.
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Re: Series Thread: Louisiana-Lafayette @ FAU - Mar 30-31 & Apr 1st, 2012

Game Two:


ULL 2  FAU 5

The Owls came from behind for the second straight time, upending Louisiana-Lafayette 5-2 on Sunday to take game two.

The contest, which was suspended due to rain on Saturday, saw a scoreless tie break with the Cajuns tapping a run in both the fourth and fifth innings off Owl lefty Josh Gonzaga (2 2/3, 6H, 2 ER).

After Gonzaga surrendered back-to-back hits to begin the 6th, Jake Meiers came on for Florida Atlantic (18-10, 7-1), tossing two hitless frames while the Owls got the offense cranked up.

FAU scored a solo run in the bottom of 6th when DH Robert Buckley singled to break home a sliding Corey Keller, but stranded three as Mike Albaladejo struck out swinging with the bags loaded.

They turned the tide for good though with a four run seventh to take a 5-2 lead that would hold for the win over the Cajuns (13-13, 3-5).

Keller was a perfect 4-of-4 with 1RBI, while scoring two runs for the Owls.

R.J. Alvarez (photo) picked up 4th save behind a hitless two innings with four strikeouts.

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Re: Series Thread: Louisiana-Lafayette @ FAU - Mar 30-31 & Apr 1st, 2012

Game Three:


ULL 3  FAU 8

Florida Atlantic’s pitching staff allowed only three hits in game three, as the Owls swept the series with an 8-3 victory over the Cajuns in the Sunday finale.

Austin Gomber threw five innings, allowing just one hit and one earned run, and struck out seven. Gomber, who improved to 4-1 in the year, offered up only 20 balls for the outing.

Back-to-back homers by Mark Nelson (photo, 2RBI), and Cory Keller (2-of-4,) paved the way to 3-0 bottom of the first lead for FAU.

The Owls (19-10, 8-1) increased that mark to 4-0 later in the second when Ricky Santiago delivered another shot over the wall.

Now on their second pitcher in Joe Zimmerman, the Cajuns got into a jam after issuing a lead off walk, single, and wild pitch.

The Owls wouldn’t let him off easy, slapping two singles and a SAC fly for three more runs and a 7-0 advantage.

A hit-by-pitch would set up the Cajuns’ first score in the fifth, as Jordan Bourque singled to drive home RF Daniel Nichols.

Louisiana-Lafayette (13-14, 3-6)  would later add another pair of runs off Owl reliever Michael Sylvestri, who had some control trouble in the 8th, allowing a pair of singles for the first score and balking in the second.

Jeff Jimenez made his way around the horn in FAU’s last trip to the plate for the game’s final run.

After leading off the frame with a single, Jimenez was moved to 2nd via a bunt by Mitch Morales, before stealing third and taking home on a wild throw.

The loss was the sixth straight for ULL, while the Owls won their fifth series on the season.

FAU will be back on the field this Tuesday night against cross town opponent Lynn University. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
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Re: Series Thread: Louisiana-Lafayette @ FAU - Mar 30-31 & Apr 1st, 2012

Some notes to pass along courtesy of FAU Baseball SID Dale Long…

Florida Atlantic took sole possession of first place in the Sun Belt Conference with a three-game home sweep of Louisiana-Lafayette. The Owls have a one-game lead over Arkansas State with an 8-1 conference record. The team also snapped ULL's 25-consecutive conference series without being swept. FAU has recorded two sweeps in SBC play, taking all three games from FIU to begin the conference season.

Junior outfielder Corey Keller highlighted the offensive attack, hitting .733 (11-for-15) for the four games last week. Keller hit a home run in three of the four games and had multiple-hit efforts in all four contests. On the season he is hitting .336 with six home runs and 20 runs batted in.
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