March 4, 2013
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team seeks to close its five-game road trip with a winning record when the Owls battle Florida A&M University in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 5 at 3 p.m. in Tallahassee.
FAU is currently 1-2 on the trip after a 6-5 win over West Virginia University on Sunday, March 3 in the final game of Caravelle Resort's Baseball at the Beach tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The team lost to the host Coastal Carolina, 4-1, and No. 10-ranked North Carolina State, 2-1 in 10 innings.
Overall, Florida Atlantic stands 6-5 on the season after facing one of the more challenging schedules in the country. Its first seven opponents have combined for a 48-26 record (.649 winning percentage), with games against three nationally ranked teams: No. 10 North Carolina State (10-1), No. 20 University of Miami (10-2) and No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast University (8-3).
The Owls have played a team from four major conferences: Big East Conference (University of Cincinnati), Big 12 Conference (West Virginia), Atlantic Coast Conference (Miami and North Carolina State) and Southeastern Conference (Alabama). The team is 1-2 in three extra-inning games this season, defeating Cincinnati 4-3 on Sunday, February 17 before losing to Miami 5-4 on Wednesday, February 20 and North Carolina State.
FAU's pitching staff has withstood the early-season challenges, combining for a 2.67 earned run average (ERA) through the first 11 games. The starting pitchers have a 2.29 ERA this season. Junior Jeremy Strawn has led the starting rotation with a 1-0 record and 1.40 ERA. The right hander has had 16 strikeouts and just two walks in 19.1 innings this season.
Sophomore left hander Austin Gomber stands 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA. The team's No. 1 starter is tied with Strawn for team-high honors with 16 strikeouts.
Senior Jake Meiers rounds out the rotation also with a 1-1 record and a 3.60 ERA in three starts. He struck out a career-high seven batters, and allowed only one run and one walk in five innings when matched against North Carolina State's preseason All-American pitcher Carlos Rodon. Both starting pitchers did not factor in last Saturday's extra-inning decision.
Offensively, sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales leads the FAU attack with a .359 batting average and six runs batted in. He drove in three runs against West Virginia. Junior outfielder Geoff Jimenez is batting .333 with two triples, and senior outfielder Corey Keller has a .310 batting average. Senior outfielder Nathan Pittman has scored a team-high 10 runs and has drawn nine walks.
The Owls have recorded five triples and 26 of their 97 hits have gone for extra bases.
Florida Atlantic will return home this weekend for a three-game series against the University of Toledo at the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road on the Boca Raton campus. The opening game is Friday, March 8 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Season and single-game tickets for home games are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.