March 20, 2013
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team has packed its bags for its first Sun Belt Conference road series by traveling to Arkansas State University for a three-game weekend series, beginning on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. from Jonesboro, Ark. The series continues on Saturday, March 23 at 5 p.m. and concludes on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m.
The Owls (13-8 overall, 2-1 in SBC) opened conference play last weekend by taking two games from South Florida rival FIU. Meanwhile, Arkansas State (15-7, 3-0) enjoyed a sweep at Arkansas-Little Rock.
Sophomore Austin Gomber is expected to be on the mound for FAU in Friday night’s series opener after being named the SBC's Pitcher of the Week. He had a season-high eight strikeouts in 7.1 scoreless innings against FIU. The left hander is 2-1 with a team-best 1.62 earned run average (ERA) and 30 strikeouts.
Florida Atlanatic's pitching staff is also led by junior Kevin Alexander, who is 2-1 with a 1.84 ERA in seven relief appearances. Rounding out the weekend starting rotation should be senior Jake Meiers (1-2, 4.88 ERA) and junior Jeremy Strawn (1-1, 4.15 ERA).
Offensively, senior catcher Mike Spano leads the team with a .311 batting average. He went 4-for-7 against FIU with four runs batted in. His walk-off single capped off a three-run ninth inning in a 6-5 win over the Panthers last Saturday, March 16.
Junior outfielder Tyler Rocklein is hitting .300 with three home runs and 15 RBI. He is tied for team-high honors with seven doubles. Sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales rounds is hitting at a .306 clip, and senior first baseman Mark Nelson leads the team with four homers and 18 RBIs.
Arkansas State, one of three SBC teams with 3-0 records after the opening weekend, split a mid-week doubleheader at the University of Missouri on Tuesday, March 19, winning the nightcap 10-3. The Red Wolves have the second ranked team ERA in the SBC at 3.46, led by sophomore No. 2 starter Chandler Hawkins with a 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA. Sunday right-handed starter Bradley Wallace is 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA. Arkansas State's offense is led by senior first baseman Logan Uxa, a preseason all-league selection, with a .346 batting average. The team ranks second in the conference with a .979 team fielding percentage.
Live audio and statistics of the three games will be available at www.fausports.com.
Single-game tickets for remaining home games are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.