What: FAU (4-0) vs. USF (2-3)
When: Fri, Feb 24th @ 6:30 PM
Sat, Feb 25th @ 4:00 PM
Sun, Feb 26th @ 12:00 PM
Where: FAU Baseball Stadium
Video: C-USA TV
USF Team Site: Here
Series: Bulls hold a 14-3 lead over the Owls. First matchup since 2021 (6-5 USF).
Projected Starting Pitchers:
USF - RHP Tanner Mink (2.2 IP, 20.25 ERA)
FAU - LHP Hunter Cooley (1-0, 2.84 ERA)
USF - LHP Nolan Hudi (0-1, 1.93 ERA)
FAU - RHP Jacob Josey (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
USF - RHP Austin Grause (0-1, 10.80 ERA)
FAU - RHP Nicolas Del Prado (4 IP, 0.00 ERA)
FAU came out the gate swinging the bats, and look like they won't stop anytime soon.
After torching Monmouth 37-12 in a three-game sweep, the Owls carried that momentum over to their first of two matchups against UCF with a dominant 13-3 victory Tuesday night at Orlando. Their combined run total of 50 has them ranking 13th in the country as one of the best offenses to start the season.
Senior infielder Jackson Ross (pictured) shined in the spotlight against UCF. He batted two-run homers twice to finish with a .750 average for a career-high 5 RBIs.
Christian Adams has had a smooth integration into the batting unit. The junior infielder tops the team with a .467 average and 9 RBIs (second-most), including a three-run home run that confirmed the Owls' blowout win over the Knights.
Junior outfielder Dylan Goldstein is contributing massively to the FAU offense. He is responsible for 10 of the team's 47 RBIs tying him for 14th nationally.
The pitchers are also off to a hot start. With Hunter Cooley (2.84 ERA) and Evan Waterbor (1.80 ERA) highlighting the bullpen with their recent performances, they are averaging 2.00 ERA per game which places them at 16th in the nation.
One player FAU has sorely missed is catcher Caleb Pendleton. He missed the first four games with a minor hand injury and will be a game-time decision for the series.
The starting lineup (in non-batting order) to begin the series should be the one shown below:
RF Dylan Goldstein
CF Spencer Rich
LF Jalen DeBose
1B Nolan Schanuel
2B Christian Adams
3B Jackson Ross
DH Mitchell Hartigan
SS Armando Albert
C John Schroeder
P Hunter Cooley
USF went through some tough competition to begin the season.
After starting the year with a 8-7 upset win over 13th-ranked Maryland, they lost the next two games of that series by a combined margin of 17-6. Losing the opening matchup 6-1 against the 7th-ranked Florida Gators, they bounced back with a come-from-behind 10-9 victory after trailing 8-3 in the ninth inning to conclude the two-game encounter.
The Bulls have two players batting .400 or higher: Travis Sankovich (.474) and Bobby Boser (.467). They only have two home runs combined, but they are solid at hitting the ball with 16 of the team's 41 hits and will be hard for FAU to handle if the bullpen does not pitch well against them.
Another batter FAU should keep an eye on is Bull outfielder Drew Brutcher. He is only batting .217 to start the year but he does have two home runs while leading the team in RBIs with 5. Considering he put together 13 home runs and 40 RBIs last year, the Owls have to make sure he does not come alive against them.
Even though USF is allowing 7.8 runs per game, they do have 5 pitchers averaging 2.50 ERA or lower after playing over 4 innings (FAU has 2). Leading the bullpen is Nolan Hudi with a 1.93 ERA and 4 strikeouts so the Owls must time their swings carefully to have a great offensive night.
Following this series, the Bulls will make their way up to Tallahassee for a Wednesday matchup against Florida State on March 1.