Feb. 28, 2013
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team will play its first road games of the 2013 season when the Owls take on three quality opponents in Coastal Carolina University's Caravelle Resort Baseball on the Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3.
FAU will face the tournament hosts, Coastal Carolina, in the opener on Friday at 5 p.m. The team is schedule to face North Carolina State University on Saturday, March 2 at 5 p.m. and West Virginia University on Sunday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m.
Florida Atlantic is 5-3 on the season after a dramatic 9-8 victory over No. 23-ranked Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday, February 26. The team used a five-run sixth inning to get the home victory - the first triumph over a ranked opponent this season after playing a challenging season with games against the University of Cincinnati of the Big East Conference, University of Miami (8-0) of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and University of Alabama (7-1) of the Southeastern Conference.
The pitching staff has withstood the challenge, holding opposing hitters to a .212 batting average and teams to a 2.64 earned run average. Sophomore Austin Gomber anchors the starting rotation with a 1-0 record and a 1.50 earned run average. The left hander has struck out 11 batters and allowed just two walks in 12 innings his first two starting assignments.
Junior Jeremy Strawn earned Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week honors after posting eight scoreless innings against the University of Alabama on Sunday, February 24. He stands 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, 10 strikeouts and one walk in 14 innings this spring.
Senior Jake Meiers rounds out the rotation with a 1-1 record and a 4.50 ERA. He is scheduled to start Saturday's game against the North Carolina State.
Offensively, senior outfielder Nathan Pittman leads the team from the lead-off spot in the batting lineup with a .381 batting average and nine walks, which have helped score a team-high nine runs.
Sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales is hitting at a .364 clip with two doubles, while senior outfielder Corey Keller and junior catcher Levi Meyer have each collected a team-high 12 hits this season. Meyer, a junior college transfer, has had a hit in seven of his first eight Division I games and drove in the winning run against Florida Gulf Coast with a sacrifice fly. Junior outfielder Geoff Jimenez rounds out the .300-or-better hitters and has two stolen bases.
Coastal Carolina has a 3-3 record after losses last week to No. 1-ranked University of North Carolina and No. 8 University of Kentucky. The Chanticleers, which have made six straight NCAA regional tournament appearances, will play the University of San Diego on Thursday, February 28 before facing FAU. Junior pitcher Tyler Herb was named Big South Conference Pitcher of the Week for the Myrtle Beach-based team after his eight-inning performance in a win over Kansas State University on February 21.
North Carolina State is currently ranked No. 10 by Baseball America and was the preseason favorite by league coaches to win the ACC. The team has preseason first-team All-Americans in pitcher Carlos Rodon, last year's ACC Pitcher of the Year, and shortstop Trea Turner, who led the nation with 57 stolen bases last season.
West Virginia, 3-4 for the spring, is scheduled to end its season-opening 10-game road trip against Florida Atlantic. The team will also play Indiana University and University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the weekend tournament. Outfielder Jacob Rice is this week's Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Week after batting .563 (9-for-16) with three runs and three stolen bases in leading the Mountaineers to victories over Wake Forest University and Youngstown State University.
Live statistics of all three games will be available at www.fausports.com.
Season and single-game tickets for any home game are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.