Feb. 13, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - With opening day quickly approaching, FAUSports.com takes a look at the breakdown of the 2014 Florida Atlantic University baseball team. Today, we take a look at the FAU pitching staff.
Junior Austin Gomber has racked up several preseason accolades, including Conference USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year by College Sports Madness. The southpaw earned a record of 8-4 in 2013 while hurling a Sun Belt Conference low 2.97 earned run average. Gomber will be the ace of the squad, starting the first game of each weekend series.
Jeremy Strawn returns after putting on an impressive display in 2013 as well. The Bradenton, Fla. native earned five wins and compiled an ERA of 3.46. Strawn pitched two shutouts in his junior campaign and will be the number two starter in 2014.
The Sunday starter looks to be Drew Jackson, a 6-foot, 3-inch righty from Naples, Fla. Jackson is in his first season with the Owls after he made 13 appearances in 2013 at Seminole State. Standing at 6-feet, 3-inches, he netted an ERA of 2.76 and struck out 22 last season.
Sophomore Brandon Rhodes will be the number four starter for FAU to begin his sophomore season. The lefty earned his third win last year at Miami, defeating the Hurricanes 6-1 in Coral Gables.
Senior Jimmy Tornabene and freshman Sean Labsan will look to be FAU's fifth and sixth starters. Tornabene, a senior from Palm Beach Gardens made seven appearances and was tagged with a loss against Miami in his only decision of the 2013 season. Labsan was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 17th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, but elected to come to FAU. The Sarasota native will also see time as FAU's designated hitter.
The FAU bullpen returns strong arms from a year ago, led by closer Kevin Alexander. A captain of the 2014 squad, Alexander earned three wins and struck out 44 in his 53 innings on the hill in his junior campaign. Just last week, Alexander was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list.
Junior Bo Logan will be Coach McCormack's go-to setup man. Logan had an ERA of 2.68 and struck out 41 batters while walking just 15 last year. He earned five victories and held batters to an average of .232. Logan gave up only 39 hits in his 43.2 innings of work.
Junior newcomer Reily Monkman will also be called upon to setup Alexander. The 6-foot, 188 pound Mt. Dora native transferred from Seminole State College to join the Owls.
Newcomer Cody Mizelle, winner of the Iron Owl competition, will also see time at the end of games. He threw three complete games in five starts for Daytona State College last season.
McCormack will also utilize Andrew Archer, a 6-foot, 2-inch senior from Davie, in late-game situations. Archer was named the MVP of the South Florida Collegiate League over the summer and has improved his game from a season ago.
Sophomore Kyle Miller and junior John Sebelle look to be FAU's long-relief pitchers to begin the season. Miller earned three victories last season, striking out 32 in 29.2 innings. Sebelle, a 6-foot, 1-inch righty from Winter Springs, transferred to FAU from Daytona State College.
Alex Koji, who made 12 appearances for the Owls in 2013, will be the squad's left-handed specialist. The Lake Worth native held lefties to an average of just .143 in his junior season.
Sophomore Michael Emigh and freshman David McKay look to be called upon in different situations for FAU. Emigh made one appearance for the Owls in 2013 while McKay struck out 92 in his final season at Viera High School. McKay was selected by the New York Mets in the 30th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
Sophomore Seth McGarry, who earned a 2-0 record last season despite pitching just 9.2 innings, and newcomer Brett Maggard round out the FAU bullpen. McGarry struck out 11 and walked just three while holding batters to an average of .211 in his freshman campaign. Maggard, a 6-foot, 3-inch southpaw transfer from Gulf Coast State College, was drafted in 2011 by the Philadelphia Phillies.
FAU is ranked No. 24 in the Perfect Game preseason poll, 30th in the NCBWA poll, and is receiving votes in other national polls.
The Owls open their 2014 season on Saturday, Feb. 15 with a home doubleheader against Notre Dame. First pitches are scheduled for 1 and 6 p.m. at the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.
For ticket information, call 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visit FAUSports.com.
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