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Baseball Ready to Hit Practice Field on Friday

Jan. 24, 2013

Are you ready for some baseball?

It might be a month before major league baseball pitchers and catchers report, but spring training begins for the Florida Atlantic University baseball team on Friday, January 25 in preparation for the challenging 2013 season.

Practices and intra-squad sessions are open to the public, and I encourage fans to get a sneak peak of this year's team. These Owls should be a fun group to watch! Baseball season tickets can be purchased through the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.

FAU is coming off its second Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship in the last three seasons and 14th consecutive winning season. Head Coach John McCormack's squad returns six starting position players and two starting pitchers last year's titlist.

This year's team captains are seniors Hugh Adams and Mark Nelson. Adams returns for his fifth season and earned first-team All-South Central Region honors as a reliever in 2011.

Senior outfielder Corey Keller helps anchor the lineup, hitting .302 with seven home runs last season. Nelson, the veteran first baseman, also connected on seven home runs and led the team with 45 runs batted in. Senior catcher Mike Spano earned second-team All-SBC honors last season after hitting .291 in 43 starts behind the plate.

The pitching staff will look to replace R.J. Alvarez, the highest draft pick by the Los Angeles Angels in last year's Major League Baseball Draft. The relief shouldn't miss a beat with the hard throwing Adams coming back after missing last season because of injury. Junior Kevin Alexander and sophomore Austin Gomber should play a vital role in the starting rotation. The Owls will also benefit from having junior Jeremy Strawn back from an injury-marred 2012 season.

Coach McCormack and his staff have attracted several talented newcomers that should make an impact in the outfield, infield and on the mound.

The season opener is just three weeks away - Friday, February 15, at 6:30 p.m. -- against the University of Cincinnati at the FAU Baseball Stadium. That starts a three-game weekend series with the Bearcats. The entire schedule can be seen here.

Look for an opening practice report tomorrow.

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