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SERIES CAPSULE: FAU vs Maine - March 15th - 17th, 2024

What: FAU (9-6) vs. Maine (2-11)

When: Fri, March 15th @ 6:30 PM
           Sat, March 16th @ 4:00 PM
           Sun, March 17th @ 12:00 PM

Where: FAU Baseball Stadium

Video: FAU TV

Live Stats: Here

Maine Team Site: Here

Series: Owls lead 9-4 all-time against the Black Bears. First matchup since 2017 (11-3 FAU).

Projected Starting Pitchers:

MNE - RHP Gianni Gambardella (0-3, 8.57 ERA)
FAU - RHP CJ Williams (3-0, 3.57 ERA)

MNE - RHP Jason Kreiger (1-1, 6.19 ERA)
FAU - LHP Trey Beard (1-1, 4.60 ERA)

FAU - RHP Tyler Murphy (2-0, 1.93 ERA)

Owl Notables

The Owls have been on a roll, securing victories in four of their last five matchups, notably defeating Miami 6-4 on Tuesday night. Their success continued last weekend with a series win over FIU, highlighted by a dominant 24-2 victory on Sunday. Sundays have proven particularly fruitful for the Owls in the past three weeks, as they amassed a total of 60 runs in series finale triumphs over Towson (16), Stonehill (20), and FIU (24).

John Schroeder showcased his power at the plate by hitting homers in all three games against FIU last weekend, and nearly added two more on Tuesday against Miami. Schroeder currently leads the Owls with 18 RBI and boasts a .333 batting average, placing him second on the team.

FAU's pitching staff has emerged as a formidable asset in the early stages of the season, with starters CJ Williams, Trey Beard, and Tyler Murphy leading the charge. Together, they have conceded just 11 earned runs in over 43.2 innings pitched during the last three weeks, resulting in an impressive 2.27 ERA.

The bullpen has also consistently delivered strong performances when called upon. Junior pitcher Steven Andrews and seniors Danny Trehey and Braden Ostrander once again proved their reliability on Tuesday. Trehey maintains a perfect 0.00 ERA across 13 innings, while Andrews delivered 3.1 scoreless innings against FIU last Saturday and contributed two more solid innings against Miami. Ostrander closed out Tuesday's game with four consecutive outs, securing his second save of the season.

It is possible for Christian Adams (pictured below via Rick Henderson) to have a strong series against Maine. The second baseman has scored six runs over the last four games, getting three hits in 12 at-bats with one of them being a solo home run. With the weaknesses the Black Bears have in the bullpen, this presents a solid opportunity for Adams to get more hits to his tally.

Emilio Gonzalez would also be in the picture for plenty of runs for the Owls. He is batting .353 in his 17 at-bats, getting five RBI throughout the last four contests. His strong swings have proved to be difficult for opponents to deal with, especially when his bat strikes the ball with absolute force.

After this series, the Owls will remain in-state as they head up to Orlando for their rematch against UCF on March 9th at 6:00 PM. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

The starters (in non-batting order) for game one could be that of the below:

RF John Schroeder
CF Jalen DeBose
LF Carter Brady
1B Emilio Gonzalez
2B Christian Adams
3B Patrick Ward
DH Dylan LaPointe
SS Brando Leroux
C Andrew McKenna
P CJ Williams

Black Bear Notables

Last season, Maine secured an impressive 32-21 overall record and dominated conference play with a 19-5 record, ultimately clinching the America East title. Competing in the Coral Gables Regional against Miami and Louisiana added to their postseason journey.

This season, a youthful Maine team has struggled out of the gate with a 2-11 record, claiming victories over Bethune-Cookman and Fordham. The Black Bears have primarily competed in Florida, with 10 out of their first 13 games held in the Sunshine State.

Maine has had a hard time getting the bats rolling against opponents. They are one of the 50 worst teams (38th) in the country with a .231 batting average overall, an area FAU pitchers should look to exploit.

Jeremiah Jenkins is one batter the Owls' bullpen should keep an eye on. He leads the Black Bears with a .327 batting average for 16 hits, 11 RBI, and six home runs. Jake Marquez has the second-most homers on the team with three, tying Jenkins for the most RBI on the team with 11 as well.

It is also possible for the Owls to overwhelm Maine's bullpen. They have the 16th-worst earned run average in the nation with a 10.25 ERA, giving up 130 total runs so far this season. Keep an eye on FAU's batters if they catch fire throughout the series, given the Black Bears' weakness in their pitching.

After this series, they will return to Orono to host Thomas College on March 20th at 4:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on American East TV.

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