Sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales ranks ninth in the SBC with a .354 batting average
April 17, 2013
Boca Raton, Fla. - For the second time this month, the Florida Atlantic University baseball team heads to Louisiana with a share of the lead in the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) standings, facing the University of Louisiana in a three-game weekend series in Lafayette, La. Games are slated for Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m.
The Owls are in a three-way tie for first place with a 10-5 record at the halfway point in the SBC campaign. Overall, the team is 25-12 on the season after a 10-2 road victory at UCF on Tuesday, April 17.
FAU won the last two games to capture a series from Middle Tennessee State University last weekend, April 12-14, at the FAU Baseball Stadium. Tuesday night's victory at UCF gives the team a three-game winning streak and an 8-2 record in midweek games.
Florida Atlantic's pitching staff leads the SBC with a 3.17 earned run average (ERA). Anchoring the rotation is sophomore Austin Gomber, who ranks second in the league with a 2.28 ERA. The left hander is also second in the SBC with 62 strikeouts and brings a 4-2 record into Friday night's series opener at Louisiana.
Junior Jeremy Strawn, a member of the weekend rotation all season, has a 2-2 record and 3.55 ERA. The right hander is scheduled to start Saturday's game, while freshman Brandon Rhodes (3-1, 2.79 ERA) is set to start on Sunday.
Senior closer Hugh Adams leads the SBC with 11 saves and ranks third nationally in that category. The right hander is four saves shy of tying the all-time SBC record for career saves.
Offensively, sophomore Mitch Morales ranks ninth in the conference with a .354 batting average. The shortstop drove in a pair of runs with two outs as part of a three-run fifth inning at UCF on Tuesday. Morales has driven in 22 runs while scoring 22 runs this season.
Senior Nathan Pittman leads the team with 27 runs and 10 stolen bases. He also is hitting at .323 clip from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Pittman has 24 RBI and nine doubles. Junior Tyler Rocklein ranks fifth in the conference with 14 doubles.
Louisiana is 25-12 on the season and won a resumed game at Northwestern State University, 12-0, on Wednesday, April 17 in its final tune up before the weekend series. The Ragin' Cajuns are 8-7 in league play and stand two games back from first place in the standings. Tyler Girouard leads the offensive attack with a .394 batting average, seven home runs and 32 RBI, while Caleb Adams has hit seven home runs. The team has seven players hitting .300 or better in the lineup.
Louisiana's pitching staff has compiled a 4.33 ERA and right hander Austin Robichaux was named this week's Pitcher of the Week after a 14-strikeout complete game performance at UALR on April 12. He is 5-2 with a 2.45 ERA.
Live audio and statistics of all three games in the series will be available at www.fausports.com.
Single-game tickets for all FAU home games can be purchased by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.