May 9, 2013
Boca Raton, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team looks to retain its prospects for a competitive seeding in the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) postseason championship tournament in this weekend's three-game series at Western Kentucky University, starting on Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. from Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Owls and Hilltoppers are tied for fourth place in the SBC with 13-11 league records.
FAU stands 28-20 on the season and is coming off a 7-1 loss at the University of Florida on May 7.
Individually, junior outfielder Tyler Rocklein leads the Owls' offensive attack with eight home runs, 33 runs batted in (RBI) and 17 doubles, while batting .287 in his first season in Boca Raton. Freshman outfielder/infielder Brendon Sanger has a team-best .330 batting average and 32 runs scored. Junior catcher/designated hitter Levi Meyer has driven in 23 runs and ranks second on the team with a .327 average. Senior outfielder Nathan Pittman has legged out three triples and scored 31 runs in the lead-off position in the lineup.
Senior first baseman Mark Nelson has connected on six homers and is second on the team with 32 RBI. Sophomore third baseman Ricky Santiago had his four-game streak with multiple-hit games snapped at Florida on May 7. He has 11 doubles for this spring. Senior catcher Mike Spano was named to the midseason Johnny Bench Watch List by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission as the nation's top collegiate catcher.
FAU's pitching staff ranks second in the SBC with a 3.92 earned run average (ERA). Sophomore left hander Austin Gomber (4-4) has a 3.04 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 74 innings this season, while junior right hander Jeremy Strawn (3-2) has a 3.76 ERA in 64 innings. Senior reliever Hugh Adams is the program's all-time leader with 26 career saves, leads the league with 13 saves this season and was named to the midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List by the National Baseball Collegiate Writers Association.
WKU is 24-24 on the season and is 18-9 at home this spring. The Hilltoppers won two of three games in last weekend's home series against ULM. Senior first baseman Ryan Huck is this week's SBC Player of the Week, and he leads the team with 12 home runs, 42 RBI and carries a .348 batting average. Scott Wilcox has scored 31 runs with a .327 average. WKU's pitching staff has posted a 4.20 ERA and is led by Andrew Edwards with a 5-2 record and 3.90 ERA. Reliever Taylor Haydel has recorded five saves.
Live audio and statistics of games from the series will be available at www.fausports.com.
Tickets for the remaining home game against UCF on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. are available by contacting the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.