Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team knows how important a three-game series against the University of Alabama can enhance the Owls’ national reputation. The team received considerable national and regional media attention after opening last season with a sweep of the Crimson Tide in three games at Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
This year’s meeting will be at the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road on the Boca Raton campus, with games scheduled on Friday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, February 23 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, February 24 at 1 p.m.
FAU, the preseason choice to defend its Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship, looks to bounce back from a 5-4 extra-inning loss to No. 20-ranked University of Miami on Wednesday, February 20 in Boca Raton. The team held a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning before the Hurricanes forced the extra frames. Then, the visitors managed to get the game-winning run, with two outs, in the top of the 11th inning.
The Owls are 3-1 on the season after sweeping the University of Cincinnati to open the 2013 season last weekend – part of an eight-game scheduled home stand.
Florida Atlantic boasts a .329 team batting average with six players hitting .333 or better for the season. Senior outfielder Corey Keller leads the team (.474), is one of three players with two doubles and has scored four runs. Sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales (.400) has tallied six hits and driven in two runs, and sophomore infielder Ricky Santiago (.353) has two doubles.
Junior college transfers Levi Meyer and Tyler Rocklein have hit the team’s two home runs this spring. Meyer, a designated/catcher hitter from Wichita, Kansas, is tied for team high honors with four RBIs, while Rocklein, an outfielder from Bradenton, Florida, has driven in four runs and scored a pair of runs. Senior outfielder Nathan Pittman is hitting .333 to round out the top offensive performers through the first four games.
On the mound, sophomore Austin Gomber anchors a pitching staff that has compiled a 3.00 earned run average and .196 opposing batting average. The left hander struck out six batters in six quality innings in the opener of a doubleheader against Cincinnati on Saturday, February 16.
Senior Michael Sylvestri has recorded nine strikeouts in six innings over two appearances. He picked up a win in relief in a 4-3 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday, February 17.
Alabama enters this weekend with a 4-0 record and picked up a 10-8 victory over nationally ranked University of Southern Mississippi on Tuesday, February 19. The Southeastern Conference team swept a three-game series by outscoring VMI 25-12 to open the season last weekend. Friday will be the team’s first road games of the season. Crimson Tide is scheduled to start senior right-hander Charley Sullivan (0-0, 6.23 ERA) on Friday, sophomore left-hander Jon Keller (1-0, 6.75 ERA) on Saturday and come back with sophomore right-hander Spencer Turnbull (0-0, 2.45 ERA) on Sunday.
Live audio and statistics of each will be available here. Season and single-game tickets can be purchased by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
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