FAU Baseball Insider: Episode 2

Feb. 17, 2010

BOCA RATON, FL - The Florida Atlantic University Baseball team will begin the 2010 campaign 6:30 p.m. this Friday, when they begin a three-game series against Cincinnati at FAU Stadium. The Owls will also embark on the second season of the John McCormack era as the former assistant coach will begin his sophomore campaign as head coach and his 20th season overall as a member of the FAU Baseball program.

FAU will be led this season by their two captains, Mike Albaladejo and Lou Morey, both voted on by the players. Albaladejo is projected to be the everyday catcher as the sophomore batted .373 last season in 34 games with 10 RBI and a .464 on-base percentage. Morey, a senior from Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, appeared in 12 games out of the bullpen last season as a reliever. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 5.87 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched.

Morey also won the 2010 "Iron Owl" award for the second-consecutive season. The "Iron Owl" competition identifies the strongest Owl baseball player, both mentally and physically. A series of events are held throughout the preseason that determines each player's physical strength, knowledge of the game and academic performance. The award will be presented to Morey on opening day.

Offensively, the Owls will return four starters who batted over .300 last season including Albaladejo, shortstop Nick DelGuidice, outfielder Colby Gratton and infielder Sean Bukovich. All four players are projected to be in the starting lineup in 2010.



On the mound, FAU will be paced by a pair of junior starting pitchers, Mike Gipson and Taylor Everist. Everist will get the nod in Friday's opener followed by Gipson in game two on Saturday. Everist, a junior college transfer, will be making his first start in an FAU uniform on Friday. Gipson went 4-5 with a 5.93 ERA in 16 appearances (11 starts) last season.

The back end of the bullpen will be patrolled by one of the few veterans of the Owls' pitching staff, Glen Troyanowski. The junior will be the primary closer for Coach McCormack this season after recording a team-high six saves last season. Baseball America listed Troyanowski as the No. 2 prospect in the Sun Belt Conference behind Middle Tennessee OF Bryce Brentz.

Some key newcomers for FAU this season include freshman RHP Kevin Alexander from nearby Taravella High School in Coral Springs. Alexander will receive his first test early as he will get the start in Sunday's series finale.

Also looking to make an impact this season out of the bullpen is freshman RHP R.J. Alvarez and junior OF/RHP Andy Mee, who were both listed among the top newcomers in the Sun Belt according to Baseball America. Mee, a Sante Fe CC transfer, will also be relied upon to serve a key offensive role and is projected to start in right field.

After the Owls' opening weekend series against Cincinnati, FAU will get the rest of the week off before busing to Alabama next Wednesday to take on Missouri, Boston College and Auburn in a weekend three-game tournament.

From there, FAU will return home the following weekend for a three-game series against Boston College. The Owls open their fourth season of Sun Belt Play on March 12 against Troy.