Preview: FAU vs. Bethune-Cookman
2010 Gainesville Regional - 2nd Round:
#2 Florida Atlantic (35-22, 21-9) vs #4 Bethune-Cookman (35-21, 18-0)
June 5th @ 1:00 p.m.
Listen Live: HERE
Florida Atlantic and Bethune-Cookman met in a mid-week affairs in April, the Owls walked away with a 8-4 victory.
The SEC comes into the tournament with the #1 conference RPI ranking, while the PAC-10 is right behind at #2 . The Sun Belt holds a #6 ranking, and the MEAC fills the bottom at #32.
Team RPI Breakdown: Florida Atlantic 38th, Bethune-Cookman 101st.
Strength of Schedule: Florida Atlantic 62nd., Bethune-Cookman 240th.
On the mound: LHP Roman Lancara (4-2, 4.90 ERA) or RHP Rayan Gonzalez (3-2, 4.03 ERA) will get the nod.
Inside the Wildcats Dugout
The Wildcats went a perfect 18-0 in the MEAC on the road to win its 5th straight Conference Championship, their 10th in 11 MEAC Championship under Head Coach Mervyl Melendez.
Bethune-Cookman's only victory in a NCAA Regional was back 2002 in Gainesville, a 7-4 victory over Florida International. They are 1-18 in Regional play.
B-CU does bring experience into Regional, with six starters returning from last season including 7 pitchers.
The Wildcats can deliver the long ball, ranked #11th Nationally with (89) Home Runs, are 6th in Slugging Percentage (.567) and have a combined batting average of (.342) which is good enough for a 13th National ranking.
Multi-Purpose second-basemen Juan Perez (.345,1 HR, 34 RBI) is also B-CU’s closer and he set a new school season record with 10
saves striking out 36 batters in 31.1 innings.
B-CU starter Ali Simpson (6-2, 4.66 ERA) took the loss and was not effective over the 3.2 innings of work for the Wildcats, with two K's, walking four and allowing six hits and four earned runs. On the other hand UF starter Hudson Randall was, setting a new career-high of 10 strikeouts and was in command of his pitches all night throwing 77 strikes among his 102 pitches in the victory.
The Wildcats used six pitchers in their opening round loss to Florida. The pitching staff holds a (5.22) ERA.
Some highlights, DJ Leonard (.429) went 2-for-4 with 1 RBI and scoring one run. Teammate Alejandro Sanchez (.339) went 2-for-4 with 1 RBI.
B-CU has 9 players hitting above .300.
On the mound: Probable starter RHP R.J Alvarez (3-1, 4.74 ERA)
Inside the Owls' Dugout
The Owls have now lost three in-a-row and find themselves in a do-or-die situation. The other three game losing streak this season came in Mid- May losing games to Florida Gulf Coast (5-8), Florida (3-7) and Florida International (4-12).
The longest losing streak for the Owls this season is four games: 2 losses to conference rival Middle Tennessee (6-10, 3-4), followed with 2 losses to the University of Miami ( 5-8, 0-11) dating back to early April.
Four Owls have multiple hits: Colby Gratton (2-4), Eddie Cassidy (2-4, 1 Runs, 1 RBI), Dan Scheffler (2-4, 2 Runs, 1 RBI).
Three FAU players hit the long ball: Scheffler his 11th, Cassidy his 8th and Nick DelGuidice his 11th.
Wasted opportunities, something that has plagued the Owls of late...stranded seven base runners in the 6-4 lost to the Beavers.
Florida Atlantic is 12-12 when playing games out of conference this season.
Owls Starter Mike Gipson (8-2) surrendered his second loss of the season. During his 6 innings of work, he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits, walking three and striking out 5.
Quotes of the Day
"We had some opportunities early and we weren't able to capitalize. In the first inning, we had first and second with no outs and couldn't capitalize. In the second inning, had them on the ropes a little bit and got nothing out of it."
"We just didn't have enough, they [Oregon State] certainly pitched well and did a nice job."
"The home runs...gave us a lift, their guy [Peavey] did a good job against us...hit one and hit another to make 6-4, that is our comfort zone. They pitched brilliantly down the stretch. "
-Coach John McCormack post game comments
"We are an aggressive ball club and you have to give credit to their pitcher (Hudson Randall), I was disappointed the way we came out and did not swing the bats early and they had a game plan and give them credit. We started hitting the ball in the middle innings."
"Ali (Simpson) fell behind in counts and he needs to establish the strike zone to be effective and he didn't do that tonight, the ball game was two innings for them and it was enough to beat us."
"This is the NCAA Tournament. We have practiced very hard and are ready for this and we will do whatever it takes, we want to play tomorrow and to advance and play Sunday and Monday. We will stay positive and we have worked very hard."
-Wildcats Head Coach Mervyl Melendez commenting on yesterdays loss to Florida.