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SERIES CAPSULE: FAU @ Rice - May 10th - 12th, 2024

What: FAU (24-22, 10-11 AAC) vs. Rice (19-30, 9-12 AAC)

When: Fri, May 10th @ 7:30 PM
           Sat, May 11th @ 3:00 PM
           Sat, May 11th @ 7:00 PM

Where: Reckling Park

Video: ESPN+

Live Stats:Here

Rice Team Site: Here

Series: FAU lead 16-14-1 all-time against Rice.

Projected Starting Pitchers:

Rice - RHP Parker Smith (4-4, 4.04 ERA)
FAU - RHP CJ Williams (5-3, 2.84 ERA)

Rice - LHP JD McCracken (4-5, 4.99 ERA)
FAU - LHP Trey Beard (2-3, 5.47 ERA)

Rice - RHP Tucker Alch (0-3, 2.88 ERA)

FAU Notables

Treading water is what FAU seems to be doing at the moment.

Although they endured a series loss to UAB, dropping the first two games before rallying to win the series finale, the Owls' subsequent victory against FGCU has helped them maintain a winning record overall. With six conference games remaining, each win becomes increasingly crucial, especially as FAU finds itself in a three-way tie for fourth place, trailing Charlotte by just one game for third.

Securing a series win on the road demands FAU to set the tone early, a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of CJ Williams (pictured below). While Williams faced a challenging outing against UAB, surrendering two earned runs and five hits in 3.1 innings, a return to the dominant form that led to his first complete game shutout as an Owl would greatly benefit both him and the team.

On the offensive front, Carter Brady has found a rhythm at the plate, batting .357 (5-14) across games against UAB and FGCU, contributing four RBI and a home run while increasing his presence in the Owls' rotation. Additionally, Christian Adams has been a standout performer, tallying five hits in eight at-bats in his last two games and leading the squad with a .322 season average.

Following this series, the Owls will make their way to Fort Myers for their non-conference against FGCU on May 14th at 6:30 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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 Gonzalez
2B Christian Adams
3B Patrick Ward
DH Carter Brady
SS Brando Leroux
C Andrew McKenna
P CJ Williams

Rice Notables

This season has been far from ideal for Rice, yet their performance in AAC Play suggests FAU shouldn't underestimate them.

Despite losing four of their last five games and being outscored 43-22 by Charlotte, Texas A&M, and Lamar, Rice remains competitive within the conference. While they hold the worst overall record in the league, their conference standing sees them tied for seventh and just one game behind fourth place.

A standout in Rice's batting lineup is Jack Riedel, leading the team in home runs with 14 and ranking 119th nationally. Additionally, FAU should keep a close eye on Ben Dukes, the lone Rice player batting over .300. Dukes boasts a team-leading .317 average with 38 hits and 13 RBI.

When it comes to Rice's bullpen, FAU must exercise caution when facing starters Parker Smith and JD McCracken. With a combined total of 119 strikeouts in 155.2 innings, Smith and McCracken showcase their ability to swiftly dispatch opposing batters, posing a formidable challenge for FAU's offense.

Following this series, Rice will stay home when they play their non-conference finale against Texas Southern on May 14th at 12:30 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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