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SERIES CAPSULE: FAU @ Wichita State - April 12th - 14th, 2024

What: FAU (18-12, 5-4 AAC) vs. Wichita State (19-15, 5-4)

When: Fri, April 12th @ 7:00 PM
           Sat, April 13th @ 3:00 PM
           Sun, April 14th @ 2:00 PM

Where: Eck Stadium

Video: ESPN+

Live Stats: Here

Wichita State Team Site: Here

Series: First Series

Projected Starting Pitchers:

WSU - LHP Caden Favors (4-2, 3.33 ERA)
FAU - RHP CJ Williams (4-0, 3.18 ERA)

WSU - RHP Tommy LaPour (3-1, 3.82 ERA)
FAU - RHP Tyler Murphy (3-0, 3.44 ERA)

FAU - LHP Trey Beard (2-2, 4.94 ERA)

Owl Notables

The Owls have encountered a challenging stretch, posting a 4-5 record in their last nine games.

Inconsistencies in hitting and a tough series against nationally-ranked East Carolina have contributed to this downturn. FAU was outscored by East Carolina 17-13 over the three-game series, while Miami capitalized on the Owls' bullpen, tallying 19 hits and 14 runs.

With a continued road trip until April 19, FAU faces the task of regaining momentum while they travel to Kansas for the first time in program history.

Senior Jalen DeBose made a notable return last Saturday after missing seven games due to injury, recording at least one hit in each of the last three games and scoring two runs against ECU. Spencer Rich (pictured below via Rick Henderson) is also worth keeping an eye on, getting a team-high five hits against the Pirates while leading the Owls in stolen bases with 12 this season.

Throughout the season, Danny Trehey and Steven Andrews have been standout performers in FAU's bullpen, conceding just two runs combined over the last 15.2 innings across 10 games. Keep an eye on them, as well as starters CJ Williams and Tyler Murphy, to have strong performances on the mound against the Shockers.

Injuries have posed challenges for FAU's infield and outfield this season, with the latest blow being infielder Skyler Schulz's season-ending back injury. Schulz, who made nine appearances with a .167 batting average and four RBIs, will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. This development opens up more opportunities for Nick Garagozzo, Joey Slattery, and Daulton Frank to step in with their roles as backups for the starting infielders.

After this series, the Owls return to Florida to finish their season series against FIU on April 16th at 6:00 PM. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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

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

Shocker Notables

Much like FAU, Wichita State is facing challenges, enduring a five-game losing streak.

Following a series sweep by USF, the Shockers suffered additional losses in midweek matchups, falling 9-5 to No. 21 Oklahoma State on Tuesday and 6-3 to Kansas State on Wednesday. Their recent struggles, during which they've been outscored 33-20, offer the Owls an opportunity to capitalize on their opponent's vulnerabilities.

Wichita State boasts a formidable offense that demands attention from FAU's pitching staff. Six players maintain batting averages of .300 or higher, led by Camden Johnson with a .348 average. Derek Williams leads the team with eight home runs, while Dayvin Johnson and Jaden Gustafson have combined for 23 doubles. Seth Stroh leads in RBIs with 28.

With the second-best team ERA in the AAC at 4.34, just marginally better than FAU's 4.35, Wichita State presents a formidable pitching challenge. Favors, expected to start Friday's series opener, stands out with an impressive 62 strikeouts, ranking fourth in the AAC and 24th nationally. FAU hitters must display precise timing to contend with his pitches effectively.

Tyler Dobbs also poses a threat with a 3.11 ERA, ranking sixth in the AAC and 97th nationally. His standout performance against Oklahoma State on March 26 showcased his capabilities, with five strikeouts and just one hit allowed in 6.1 innings.

Following this series, the Shockers next host Oral Roberts on April 17th at 7:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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