Boca Raton, FL - Two undefeated South Florida college baseball team will square off Wednesday, February 20 as the Florida Atlantic University hosts No. 20-ranked University of Miami, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road on the Boca Raton campus.
The game will be the first of three scheduled contests this season between the two teams.
FAU opened the season with a three-game sweep of the Big East Conference’s University of Cincinnati, outscoring the visiting Bearcats 20-10 and having six Owls posting a .333 or better batting average during the series.
Meanwhile, Miami also swept a Big East opponent, Rutgers University, in the Hurricanes’ opening weekend.
Senior outfielder Corey Keller set the pace for Florida Atlantic’s offense against Cincinnati, getting a hit in eight of 13 at-bats (.615) and contributing to six of the team’s 20 runs scored this season (three runs batted in; three runs scored). He also had two doubles and a leadoff triple that led to the game winner in an extra-inning victory on Sunday, February 17.
Senior catcher Mike Spano had RBIs and posted a .400 batting average (4-for-10) in the opening weekend. The Naples native had a walk-off single in the 10th inning to plate Keller with the winning run in a 4-3 victory.
Fellow senior outfielder Nathan Pittman drew six walks from the leadoff spot in the batting order across the first three games, and scored five runs and had a triple. Junior-college transfer Levi Meyer had a successful FAU debut, hitting the Owls’ lone home run, a solo blast to left field in the opener of a doubleheader on Saturday, February 16. Meanwhile, sophomore third baseman Ricky Santiago has a .333 batting average and had two doubles against the Bearcats.
On the mound, FAU’s pitching staff compiled a 2.89 earned run average while holding Cincinnati to a .176 batting average over the first 28 innings. Sophomore left hander Austin Gomber struck out six batters across six quality innings and allowed just two runs in winning the season opener. Seniors Jake Meiers and Michael Sylvestri earned the other victories, with Sylvestri’s win coming in relief with four scoreless innings on Sunday. The right hander struck out seven of the 13 batters he faced.
Senior Hugh Adams recorded his 14th career save by tallying the final two outs to complete the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader. He stands two saves shy of tying the school record for career saves (16).
Freshman Brandon Rhodes, a lefthander from Lake Worth, is expected to get the starting assignment against the Hurricanes. He threw two scoreless relief innings, with two strikeouts in his collegiate debut against Cincinnati on Saturday. He pitched six shutouts and a perfect game at Park Vista High School.
Miami are ranked No. 20 this week after being No. 28 in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason poll. The Hurricanes outscored Rutgers 16-5 over the weekend and their starting pitchers didn’t allow an earned run in 17 innings. The South Florida rival defeated FAU three times in 2012 after having the Owls win the season series in 2011. The team defeated Miami 7-4 in Boca Raton during that spring.
Live audio and statistics of Wednesday’s game will be available here. Season and single-game tickets are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
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