Feb. 25, 2013
Boca Raton, FL - The challenging season-opening home stand concludes for the Florida Atlantic University baseball team with a game against No. 23-ranked Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m. from the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road on the Boca Raton campus.
The Owls, 4-3 on the season, are looking to knock off their first nationally ranked opponent of the season. They dropped a 5-4 game against No. 20-ranked University of Miami on Wednesday, February 20.
FAU hopes to build momentum from a 3-0 victory over the University of Alabama of the Southeastern Conference on Sunday, February 24. The team opened the season with a three-game sweep of the University of Cincinnati from Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17. So, the home stand has included teams from the Big East Conference (Cincinnati), Atlantic Coast Conference (Miami) and Southeastern Conference (Alabama).
Florida Atlantic's pitching staff has compiled a 2.32 earned run average (ERA), and has collected 57 strikeouts and just 18 walks in the first 66 innings. Junior Jeremy Strawn threw eight scoreless innings and struck out a career-best six hitters against Alabama to earn his first collegiate career win. He was named the Sun Belt Conference's Pitcher of the Week.
Freshman Brandon Rhodes is preparing for his second career start on Tuesday. The left hander had four strikeouts and allowed two earned runs on six hits across 5.1 innings against Miami. However, he didn't factor in the decision and brings a 2.45 ERA into the matchup with the Eagles.
Offensively, sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales leads FAU with a .400 batting average. He joins senior outfielder Corey Keller and junior catcher Levi Meyer in each having 10 hits so far this spring. Keller has driven in three runs and legged out two doubles, while Meyer is hitting at a .313 clip and has scored three runs in his first seven games.
Junior outfielder Geoff Jimenez is batting .333 with one double and a triple. Sophomore third baseman Ricky Santiago has recorded eight hits and freshman designated hitter Brendon Sanger had a two-run single with two outs in Sunday's victory over Alabama.
Florida Gulf Coast, with a 5-1 record, is ranked No. 23 this week by Baseball America and No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball. This came after a three-game sweep at nationally ranked University of Florida last weekend. Getting the start on the mound for the Eagles will be Zack Tillery, who has a 0-0 record with 9.00 ERA, one strikeout and three walks in three innings this season. Offensively, senior red-shirt first baseman Brooks Beisner leads the team with a .520 batting average, four home runs and 11 runs batted in.
Live audio and statistics of the game will be available at www.fausports.com. Season and single-game tickets are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.