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GAME CAPSULE: FAU @ Florida - April 30th, 2024

What: FAU (22-19, 9-9 AAC) vs. Florida (22-21, 9-12 SEC)

When: Tue, April 30th @ 4:00 PM
Where: Condron Family Ballpark

Video: SEC Network+

Live Stats: Here

Florida Team Site: Here

Series: Gators lead 25-10 all-time against the Owls.

Projected Starting Pitchers:

UF - LHP Cade Fisher (2-2, 6.49 ERA)
FAU - RHP Dawson Ball (0-2, 6.75 ERA)

Owl Notables

For the time being, FAU got an important series win on the road in league play against USF that can change the momentum of their season for the better.

The Owls outscored the Bulls 14-10 throughout the three-game set, providing them with some crucial breathing room in the AAC Standings. Initially part of a four-way tie, FAU now shares third place with Tulane and Charlotte.

Christian Adams played a pivotal role in FAU's series victory over USF, earning his third AAC Weekly Honor Roll nod of the season. His contributions included two home runs against USF and six RBI over the four-game span. With a .375 batting average (15-40) in the last 10 games, the senior second baseman is poised to maintain his impressive form against the Gators' bullpen.

Jalen DeBose (pictured below via Rick Henderson) enters Tuesday's game on the back of a seven-game hitting streak and has achieved at least a hit in 13 of his last 14 games. Expect him to make key plays to keep the Owls competitive.

FAU may opt for a flexible bullpen strategy, with Dawson Ball slated to start on Tuesday night. Ball's strong performance, highlighted by five strikeouts and three hits allowed in 2.4 innings against Miami and USF, will be crucial for FAU's success against the Gators.

Following this matchup, FAU will host three games against UAB starting May 3rd at 6:30 PM. The series will be shown on ESPN+.

Gator Notables

It's been a peculiar year for the Florida Gators.

Despite starting the season ranked in the top five nationwide, they've tumbled out of the top 25 across various national rankings due to a string of losses.

Over the weekend, Florida lost two out of three games against No. 2 Arkansas. With a 9-12 record in league play, they currently occupy sixth place in the SEC East Division.

Jac Caglianone is the driving force behind Florida's offense and pitching. As a two-way player and a projected top pick in the 2024 MLB Draft, Caglianone boasts a .404 batting average with 26 home runs (ranking second in DI) and 53 RBI. His ability to make contact while maintaining power makes him one of the nation's toughest hitters to strike out, averaging just 11.4 at bats per strikeout.

Caglianone's explosive combination of power and contact has resulted in a 15-to-28 strikeout-to-walk ratio, a 7.3% strikeout rate, and 26 home runs this season, the latter of which ranks second nationally. Neutralizing his ability to make big plays should be a top priority for the Owls' bullpen.

Florida ranks seventh nationally and fourth in the SEC in home runs (92) and home runs per game (2.14). They also boast the 18th-highest fielding percentage in the country (.980) and rank 13th in strikeouts per nine innings (10.7). Additionally, Florida ranks second in the SEC in hit-by-pitches with 83.

Taking the mound for the Gators will be sophomore lefty Cade Fisher, making his eighth start of the season. Fisher, with a record of 2-2 and a 6.49 ERA, earned recognition as a Freshman All-American by Perfect Game in 2023 and was also named to the SEC's All-Freshman Team. FAU's hitters will need to be sharp when facing him.

Florida will stay home as they host three games against Tennessee starting May 2nd at 7:00 PM. The series will be broadcast on SECN+.

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