2B William Block (.321 BA) has scored 34 runs in 26 games to lead the team in that category, he also has a team-leading 8 doubles
April 3, 2008
FAU (16-10; 6-4 SBC) @ SOUTH ALABAMA (17-11; 5-4 SBC)
April 4-6 | Stanky Field (3,500) | Mobile, Ala.
FRI - 6 p.m. CT (RH Mickey Storey 2-2, 4.13 ERA) vs. (RH Eric Gonzalez 4-2, 4.39 ERA)
SAT - 2 p.m. CT (RH Mike Gipson 2-0, 4.26 ERA) vs. (LH Brandon Sage 2-1, 4.97 ERA)
SUN - 1 p.m CT (LH Jeff Beliveau 1-2, 5.22 ERA) vs. (LH Chris LaGrow 1-0, 4.50 ERA)
FAU resumes Sun Belt Conference play this Friday, April 4 versus South Alabama in Mobile. FAU will be making its first-ever trip to Mobile and South Alabama's Stanky Field (3,500 capacity). The Jaguars are coming off a three-game Sun Belt series sweep of Arkansas State- its first SBC sweep since April of 2006. Most recently the Jaguars posted a 4-3 home victory Tuesday night over an Auburn team that had come into the game 18-10 overall. USA has won four straight and six of its last seven.
THE SERIES: In just its second season in the Sun Belt Conference FAU has faced South Alabama just once, winning two-of-three in a three-game weekend series in Boca Raton last season... scores went 9-3. 6-5 and 9-11.
TV/RADIO/INTERNET: Live audio links for all three games with South Alabama and live play-by-play scoring via GAMETRACKER will be made available on Florida Atlantic's official athletics website (FAUSPORTS.com). Additionally, a live video feed featuring seven different camera angles can be viewed (fee applies) on USA's official athletics website (USAJAGUARS.com).
HEAD COACH Kevin Cooney: 17 winning seasons in 20 years. Florida Atlantic's Kevin Cooney - now in his 21st season at FAU, and 25th overall - owns an 872-513-9 all-time record as a head coach (732-463-4 at FAU). He ranked 24th among active Division I coaches for career victories entering the 2008 season. Cooney has been remarkable in transitioning the FAU program into one of the top Division I-A teams in the country. Since taking over at FAU in 1988 (leading the Owls into Division I-A play in 1994) FAU has enjoyed 17 winning campaigns in 20 seasons. Under Cooney's direction, FAU has posted nine consecutive winning seasons, averaging an exceptional 41 wins per year since 1999. In just 14 years as a Division I-A program, Cooney has guided FAU to six NCAA Regional appearances, including an NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2002.
THE VERY LATEST: FAU dropped a 16-7 road decision at #2 Miami Tuesday...The Owls were atop the Sun Belt standings at 6-1 before being swept in a three-game conference series at Louisiana-Monroe (7-6, 3-2 and 13-5)... FAU came into the weekend having won seven straight and 16-of-19... FAU lost two one-run games to ULM... Four of FAU's ten losses this season have been by one-run...Coming into the ULM series having out-homered its opponents 47-28, FAU was out-homered by ULM 6-1... Freshman RH Mike Gipson (2-0; 4.26 ERA) got his first career start last Saturday and pitched well through four-plus innings but did not factor into the decision... LF Jeremy Griffiths (.373 BA) was FAU's most productive hitter in the ULM series, going 6-for-13 (.462 BA) with three doubles and four runs.
OFFENSE: FAU entered the week hitting .329 as a team and scoring 9.3 runs per game...Posted double-figure numbers in hits in 12 consecutive games from March 5-22... Senior OF Mike McKenna (.406 BA) leads the club with a .406 average and ranked first in the nation in HR (13) and RBI (43) when the first statistical rankings were published by the NCAA on March 26... McKenna upped his RBI total to 46 with three more last weekend against ULM and has 20 RBI in just 10 SBC games this season... 2B William Block (.321 BA) has scored 34 runs in 26 games to lead the team in that category, he also has a team-leading 8 doubles...LF Jeremy Griffiths (.373 BA) went 6-for-13 (.462 BA) with three doubles and four runs during FAU's series at ULM... Griffiths ranks second on the team with a .373 batting average and has assumed the second spot in the Owls' batting order...C Alex Silversmith (.308 BA) leads all players with a .444 average in FAU's 10 Sun Belt games... FAU has been playing without senior 3B Daniel Cook (.313 BA) who is expected to miss significant time after fouling a ball off his foot Friday March 14 against Louisiana-Lafayette... DH Tom Hatcher (.311 BA) hit a grand slam Tuesday against #2 Miami... Hatcher has 5 homers this season and may see time first base this weekend against USA for the first time this season... 1B Travis Ozga (.362 BA) went 4-for-5 against #2 Miami on Tuesday night, raising his batting average to .362.
PITCHING: Staff ace RH Mickey Storey (2-2; 4.13 ERA) will try to rebound from a losing decision last Friday against ULM in which he allowed seven earned runs in four innings... Freshman RH Mike Gipson (2-0; 4.26 ERA) was effective in his first career start Saturday, striking out six in four-plus innings of three-hit baseball... Freshman RH Glen Troyanowski (3-0; 1.35 ERA) has assumed the role of FAU's closer... He threw two innings of spotless relief in two appearances last weekend against ULM... Troyanowski has 22 K's in just 13+ innings pitched this season.. Junior LH Adam Morrison (1-1; 4.96 ERA) leads the staff with 32+ innings pitched... He hurled three hitless innings of long-relief last Friday against ULM allowing FAU a chance at a comeback in the series opener... Look for LH Jeff Beliveau (1-2, 5.22 ERA) to make his seventh start on Sunday against USA... Beliveau is a hard-throwing lefty transfer from the College of Charleston, who leads the team with 36 K's in his 29+ innings pitched... LH Alex Pepe (0-1, 7.07 ERA) leads the club with 12 appearances, all in relief.
NCAA'S LEADING OFFENSE: Last season the Owls were fourth nationally in batting ave. (.341), second in slugging % (.549), eighth in scoring (8.1 runs per game), third in homeruns (1.6 per game), and 18th in doubles (2.24 per game). They have kept that trend up in 2008, entering the week...(.329 BA), (.540 SLG%), (1.9 HR per game), (9.3 runs per game).
1,000 WINS: FAU won its 1,000 game in program history last week (March 23, 2008)... a 10-7 victory over Middle Tennessee State at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton. FAU owns an impressive 1,000-570-6 (.635) all-time record. 732 of those wins have come under the direction of head coach Kevin Cooney, who has led FAU to an average of 35 wins per season since taking over the program in 1988.
NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (NCAA RANK): As of the NCAA's first statistical report on March 26th... TEAM- 47 HR (3), HR p/g 2.14 (3), Runs 221 (5), SLG%, .559 (8), Runs p/g 10 (9), Hits 263 (10), Batting Ave .335 (19)... Pitching K p/g 8.5 (34)... Mike McKenna - 13 HR (1), 43 RBI (1), 1.95 RBI p/g (1), Total Bases 82 (2), SLG% .891 (8), Hits 39 (9), Runs 29 (17)... William Block - Runs 32 (4), Runs p/g 1.45 (32).
McKENNA SWEEPS NATIONAL PLAYER OF WEEK HONORS: Senior OF Mike McKenna was honored as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Louisville Slugger's National Player of the Week (3/24), the National Baseball Writers Association Pro-Line Athletic National Player of the Week (3/25) and PingBaseball.com named him as the publication's national `Spotlight Performer of the Week' (3/25). McKenna went 12-for-22 (.545 BA) with seven home runs and 19 RBI to lead the Owls to a perfect 6-0 record and series sweep over Middle Tennessee State. He homered three times in FAU's series-opener against MTST, and hit nine homeruns and totaled 26 RBI during FAU's 10-game homestand.
COOK, STOREY PASS ON MLB: Both infielder Daniel Cook (Miami, FL) and pitcher Mickey Storey (Deerfield Beach, FL) passed up an opportunity to turn pro this summer to return to FAU for the 2008 season. Storey was the first of three FAU pitchers to be selected in the 2007 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the 22nd round. Cook was taken by the Washington Nationals in the 20th round. Cook was a Second-Team All-Conference selection after hitting .349 with six home runs, 39 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT PLAYERS: Florida Atlantic University's preseason All-America outfielder Mike McKenna and senior pitcher Michael Obradovich were named to the 2008 All-Sun Belt Conference preseason baseball team.
ALL-AMERICA ACCOLADES: Both William Block and Mike McKenna were named to the 2008 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America Third Team. Block was named to the Brooks Wallace Watch List and McKenna is a candidate for the Golden Spikes Award- each honor given to the nation's top college player. McKenna was also named to the Wallace Watch List, and garnered preseason All-America honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
SUN BELT'S TOP HITTER: OF Mike McKenna (.406 BA), the league's top returning hitter from 2007 (.413 BA), is on pace to eclipse his outstanding run-producing numbers from a year ago. McKenna currently leads the team and league in HR (13), RBI (46) and total bases (87).
FIORENTINO EDGED OUT FOR OAKLAND A'S LAST ROSTER SPOT: The Oakland A's brought Florida Atlantic's Jeff Fiorentino (2002-2004) to Japan as part of their extended roster. Fiorentino, FAU's MVP in 2004, did not make the A's final 25-man roster, as the team was allowed to bring three extra players to Japan and declare three players (probably starting pitchers) inactive for each game. CF Fiorentino was edged out by Ryan Sweeney for the team's last bench spot in preparation for opening day.
FAU AMONG NATION'S TOP PROGRAMS: Florida Atlantic University was included in Collegiate Baseball's "Fabulous 40 Pre-Season NCAA Division I Poll," receiving votes as one of the nation's top programs. Over the past nine seasons, the Owls have averaged 41 wins per year, including five NCAA Regional trips and an NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2002.