SERIES THREAD: FAU vs. Middle Tennessee May 16th-18th, 2019
What: #29 Florida Atlantic (34-18, 18-9) vs. Middle Tennessee (18-34, 11-16)
When: Thursday, May 16th at 6:30pm EST
Friday, May 17th at 6:30pm EST
Saturday, May 18th at 12:00pm EST
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
Series: The Owls own a 22-16 edge over the Blue Raiders, including an 8-4 advantage since both programs joined C-USA in 2013
Video: CUSA.tv *FEE
Live Stats: Here
Middle Tennessee Team Site: Here
Projected Starting Pitchers:
FAU- Blake Sanderson, R-Sr. RHP (7-2, 3.57)
MT- Zach Keenan, So. RHP (4-4, 4.48)
FAU- Mike Ruff, Jr. RHP (5-4, 5.77)
MT- Peyton Wigginton, So. LHP (5-4, 4.76)
Owls at a Glance:
Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss are now tied for first place with 18-9 conference records and will head into the final weekend of the season battling for the regular season championship. Both teams will be at home, with FAU hosting Middle Tennessee and USM playing UAB to town. If they tie, FAU holds the tie-breaker by winning two-of-three games in Hattiesburg in the first weekend of May.
Despite a loss in their midweek game against UCF, the Owls offense has been extremely productive. Pedro Pages, Bobby Morgensen, and Eric Rivera were responsible for 10 of FAUís 17 hits.
Wilfredo Alvarez had a hot bat for the Owls last week through Sunday's series win over UTSA while going 8-for-15 with a .533 AVG for the period; which saw him tally eight singles, and score five runs.
Closing in on the end of the season, the team is currently ranked 1st in the conference in slugging pct (.445), runs scored (370), hits (554), RBIís (346), home runs (54), total bases, plate appearances, and at bats.
Middle Tennessee does not outrank FAU in any of the offensive categories, but the Blue Raiders pitching staff does have a better ERA than the Owls, as they have a 4.76 ERA on the season.
Their series against Middle Tennessee will be the last of regular season conference play before the Owls head to Biloxi, Mississippi for the C-USA Championship tournament.
Blue Raiders at a Glance:
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders currently sit tied for 9th in the conference with a record of 11-16. The team has lost their last 4 conference sets, and went 1-2 in their last series against FIU.
Middle Tennessee's leading hitter is Myles Christian who has 11 home runs on the season and is ranked among the conferences leaders in stolen bases and home runs. Blake Benefield has also been productive at the plate, hitting 9 home runs this season and is also ranked among conference leaders.
Middle Tennessee is still fighting among 5 other teams for one of the final two spots in the tournament with FIU, Marshall, UTSA, Charlotte, and UAB all looking to clinch a spot in Biloxi.
End of 1st | #MTSU's lead off batter hit a home run off Sanderson in the top of the inning, the Blue Raiders went on to score one more run before being retired on a pickoff from catcher to 2B. #MTSU 2 - #FAU 0— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) May 16, 2019
End of 3rd | Middle Tennesse added another run to the board in the top of the 3rd on an RBI single up the middle to extend their lead over the Owls. #MTSU 3 - #FAU 0— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) May 16, 2019
That's it for Sandy! Blake Sanderson is taken off the mound in the top of the 6th and is replaced by Vince Coletti.
Here's Sandy's exit line on the night
5IP, 4R, 3ER, 8H, 2BB, 7K— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) May 17, 2019
Rick saidThis is getting…
Pulled with 3ER and 7K in 5 complete innings but the bats haven't made a dent on the scoreboard against team with an RPI of 222! C'mon guys, Let's Go! Light the 🔥🔥🔥Posted On: May 16th 2019, 8:25 PM
We look like the 222 rpi team.
THE BATS HAVE ARRIVED!!
Andru Summerall hits a 2-run RBI double and just like that the Owls are back in this! Middle Tennessee now leads by just 2 runs in the top of the 7th#MTSU 4 - #FAU 2— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) May 17, 2019