April 11, 2013
Boca Raton, Fla. - The first-place Florida Atlantic University baseball team looks to continue its home-field success when it hosts Middle Tennessee State University in a three-game Sun Belt Conference (SBC) series, starting on Friday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.
Other SBC games are scheduled on Saturday, April 13 at 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 14 at noon.
Winning five of their six SBC home games, the Owls are tied for the top spot in the league with an 8-4 league record. The team swept previously nationally ranked University of South Alabama in the last home weekend series, March 29 to 31, and won two of three games against FIU to open the conference season March 15 to 17.
FAU is coming off one of its most productive offensive games of the season in a 9-0 road win at No. 24-ranked Florida Gulf Coast University on April 10. The team scored seven runs in the first inning, spread 15 hits throughout the lineup and got its third shutout of the spring from seven pitchers. The victory improved the Owls' overall record to 22-11 on the season.
Individually, freshman outfielder Brendon Sangercontinues to lead the team with a .417 batting average. The Fort Myers native had two hits and scored three runs in a homecoming to FGCU.
Sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales is batting .348 with 19 RBI and 18 runs scored, while junior catcher/designated hitter Levi Meyer leads the team with 13 multiple-hit performances and has posted a .324 average. Senior outfielder Nathan Pittmanrounds is batting .321 with a team-best 24 runs scored. He led off the FGCU game with his third home run of the season and had two RBI in the seven-run inning.
Senior first baseman Mark Nelson tops the team with six home runs and 29 RBI. Sophomore third baseman Ricky Santiago went 3-for-5 against FGCU to improve his batting average to .271 on the season. Junior outfielder Tyler Rockleinhas connected on five homers and 23 runs batted in.
FAU's pitching staff leads the conference with a 3.28 ERA. No. 1 starter, sophomore Austin Gomber, has a 4-1 record and a conference-best 2.19 earned run average (ERA). The left hander also ranks second in the SBC with 55 strikeouts, with nine coming in a road win over ULM on April 5.
Senior closer Hugh Adams leads the SBC with 10 saves, and has recorded 13 strikeouts in 16.2 innings this season. Fellow senior reliever Michael Sylvestri is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 appearances. Sophomore Bo Loganhas a 2-0 record with a 2.16 ERA in 14 relief appearances.
MTSU is 19-16 on the season and 5-7 in league action. The Blue Raiders are led by Ryan Stephens' .336 batting average and 19 RBI. Ryan Ford is batting .315 with 11 doubles and Hank LaRue has connected on two home runs along with a .313 batting average. Trent Miller leads the team with 27 RBI. The team's pitching staff is led by Johnathan Frebis, Friday night's scheduled starting pitcher, with a 4-3 record and 3.21 ERA. Hunter Adkins (4-3, 3.96 ERA) and Zac Curtis (4-3, 6.15 ERA) are scheduled to start the remaining two games of the series.
Live audio and statistics of the three games will be available at www.fausports.com. To purchase single-game tickets for all home games, contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
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