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SERIES CAPSULE: FAU @ USF - April 26th - 28th, 2024

What: FAU (20-18, 7-8 AAC) vs. USF (21-19, 7-8 AAC)

When: Fri, April 26th @ 6:30 PM
           Sat, April 27th @ 2:00 PM
           Sun, April 28th @ 1:00 PM

Where: USF Baseball Stadium

Video: ESPN+

Live Stats:Here

USF Team Site: Here

Series: Bulls hold a 15-5 lead all-time over the Owls.

Projected Starting Pitchers:

USF - RHP Hunter Mink (3-4, 5.04 ERA)
FAU - RHP CJ Williams (5-2, 2.83 ERA)

FAU - RHP Tyler Murphy (3-1, 3.92 ERA)

FAU - LHP Trey Beard (2-3, 5.83 ERA)

Owl Notables

The Owls still have much to decipher, having lost nine of their last 12 games. Amidst a four-way tie in the AAC standings directly involving FAU while they sit at fourth place, securing a series win on the road against USF could prove to be pivotal.

Leading the charge is Friday starter CJ Williams, who recently notched the first complete game of his career as an Owl, tallying five strikeouts in a 5-0 shutout victory over Tulane and earning AAC Pitcher of the Week honors. With 53 strikeouts, Williams is a linchpin in the bullpen, poised to set the tone for a strong start to the series.

Junior outfielder/catcher John Schroeder has been a consistent force, reaching base in 11 consecutive games and leading the Owls with 34 RBI. Schroeder is on the cusp of achieving 100 career hits, highlighting his significance in ensuring FAU's offensive consistency throughout the three-game set.

Jalen DeBose has been on a tear, boasting a .382 batting average (13-for-34) over the last 10 games, accompanied by nine runs scored and eight stolen bases. Additionally, catcher Andrew McKenna's (pictured below) notable performance in the series against Tulane, including three RBI and a home run, underscores his vital role. His proficiency in thwarting base-stealing attempts will be tested against the Bulls, adding to the intrigue of the upcoming matchups.

Following this series, the Owls will make their way to Gainesville for a Tuesday matchup against the Florida Gators on April 30th at 4:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus.

The starting lineup (in non-batting order) to begin the series should be the one shown below:

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

Bull Notables

Much like FAU, USF finds itself entangled in a four-way tie within the AAC standings. Amidst a recent four-game losing streak as well as falling in six of their last seven, a series victory could propel them back on course and momentarily distance themselves from the competition vying for a favorable seed.

At the plate, the Bulls are spearheaded by senior infielder John Montes, boasting six home runs, 35 RBI, and an impressive .350 batting average. Jackson Mayo follows closely, contributing 34 RBI, leading in doubles with 15, and sharing the top spot in home runs with seven, posing significant threats that FAU's bullpen must contend with.

A key figure FAU must keep a close eye on is Ben Rozenblum, boasting the team's second-best batting average at .317, along with 25 RBI and six home runs this season. Rozenblum excels in stealing bases, tallying a team-high of 18 and ranking atop the conference in this category, securing the 52nd spot nationally. FAU must strategize to thwart his efforts and minimize scoring opportunities for the Bulls.

Taking the mound as the anticipated Friday night starter, Hunter Mink holds a 3-4 record with a 5.04 ERA. Despite a strong showing of 10 strikeouts in his recent no-decision outing against Rice, the pitching duel between Mink and FAU's CJ Williams promises to be a highlight throughout the series opener.

Following this series, the Bulls stay home when they play Stetson on April 30th at 6:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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