April 25, 2013
Boca Raton, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team begins a six-game home stand by hosting Troy University this weekend in an important Sun Belt Conference (SBC) series, starting Friday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road on the Boca Raton campus. FAU and Troy are in a three-way tie for second place in the league standings with 11-7 records.
Other games in the series are scheduled on Saturday, April 27 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m.
FAU, 26-15 for the season, is coming off a 6-4 loss at the University of Miami on Wednesday, April 24. Sixteen of the team's 26 wins have come on its home field this spring.
Freshman Brendon Sanger leads the team's offensive attack with a .352 batting average, and brings a six-game hitting streak into the weekend. Senior Nathan Pittman has reached base in 23 consecutive games and leads the team with 29 runs scored. He is hitting at a .321 clip and has driven in 26 runs from the leadoff spot in the batting lineup.
Meanwhile, sophomore shortstop Mitch Morales is batting .347 with 24 runs batted in and 22 runs scored, and junior catcher Levi Meyer rounds out the .300-or-better hitters after starting 30 games in his first season as an Owl after earning All-American junior college honors last spring. Another junior-college standout, junior Tyler Rocklein is tied for fourth in the SBC with 16 doubles. He had two doubles in the loss at Miami on Wednesday night.
On the mound, FAU has the conference's top-ranked pitching staff with a 3.54 earned run average (ERA). Sophomore left hander Austin Gomber (4-3, 2.44 ERA) anchors the rotation and is slated to start Friday's series opener. Junior Jeremy Strawn (2-2, 3.71 ERA) is Saturday's probable starter, while freshman Brandon Rhodes (3-2, 4.19 ERA) will conclude the weekend.
Senior closer Hugh Adams leads the SBC with 12 saves and ranks fourth nationally in this statistical category. The right hander has been named to the midseason Stopper of the Year Award watch list by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Troy is coming off an 8-2 win over Samford University on April 23. The win improved the Trojans to 30-11 on the season. The team leads the nation in slugging percentage (.481) and doubles per game (2.6), while being second in runs per game (8.2) and third in runs scored (328). Leading that potent offense is Danny Collins with nine home runs, and his 56 RBI stand fourth among NCAA Division I players. Logan Pierce leads the conference with a .399 batting average and 46 runs batted in. Troy has a .307 team batting average for the season.
Live audio and statistics of all three games will be available at www.fausports.com.
Single-game tickets for all home games can be purchased by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.