April 11, 2006
With the Atlantic Sun Conference race heating up, Florida Atlantic University's baseball team heads to Gardner-Webb University for a three-game conference series. The teams will face off in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Friday and a single game on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Owls enter the weekend with a 19-16, 5-7 A-Sun record, while the Bulldogs stand at 15-16, 6-6 A-Sun.
FAU is coming off a 3-1 week in non-conference action and took a win from Florida International and two games from Virginia Commonwealth University. The team has won 11 of its last 16 games and holds an 8-3 series record over GWU.
Mickey Storey, Chris Salberg and Brandon Cooney are projected to start for the Owls whose pitching staff ranks fourth in the nation with 9.7 strikeouts per game. In his last four starts, Storey has thrown threw complete games and has only allowed four earned runs in 34 1/3 innings. Over that span, he holds a 1.05 ERA and has 31 strikeouts.
In Brandon Cooney's last outing, the junior struck out a career-high 11 batters in six innings against VCU in a rain-shortened contest.
Preseason All-Conference pick Blake Lalli leads the Bulldogs with a .408 batting average and five home runs. With 23 RBI and 14 doubles, Matt Maloney holds a .354 batting average to help the team carry a .288 offensive clip.
On the mound, Matt Tafazzoli is the workhorse of the staff with 52 1/3 innings. In eight starts he holds a 4-4 record and 4.82 ERA with 27 strikeouts
The series is the start of a seven-game road trip. The following weekend the team heads to Florida International on Tuesday before facing A-Sun foe, Belmont next weekend.