Oct. 8, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University baseball team will face a challenging non-conference season that will prepare it in 2013 to defend the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) regular-season championship. The schedule announced Friday, October 5 features 15 of the first 20 games being played at home, including contests against the University of Alabama, University of Miami and University of Cincinnati.
"Our fans will get to see some great baseball as we play a very strong home schedule," said John McCormack, who is entering his fifth season as FAU head baseball coach. "We're looking forward to the challenges that will come throughout the 2013 season."
Those challenges will come from five opponents that played in NCAA Division I regionals last spring: University of Florida, Miami, UCF, Coastal Carolina University and ULM.
The Owls will open the season against Cincinnati of the Big East Conference from Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17. The first game in the season series with South Florida rival Miami of the Atlantic Coast Conference comes on Wednesday, February 20. There will be a three-game series against Alabama of the Southeastern Conference from Friday, February 22 through Sunday, February 24.
FAU will travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to play in the Caravelle Resort Tournament, hosted by Costal Carolina from Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3. The team will face the host Chanticleers, University of Maryland Baltimore County and West Virginia University in the tournament.
Other non-conference games in Boca Raton feature a three-game series against the University of Toledo from Friday, March 8 through Sunday, March 10, a series against the University of Maine from Tuesday, March 12 through Wednesday, March 13, and single games against Lynn University on Tuesday, April 2, Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday, April 30 and UCF on Tuesday, May 14. Road non-conference games will be at Miami, on Wednesday, March 27 and Wednesday, April 24; Florida Gulf Coast, on Tuesday, April 9; UCF, on Tuesday, April 16 and Florida, on Tuesday, May 7.
Florida Atlantic will open defense of its 2012 SBC title with a home three-game set against FIU from Friday, March 15 through Sunday, March 17. Other home league series include the University of South Alabama, from Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31; Middle Tennessee State University, from Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14; Troy University, from Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28; and University of Arkansas-Little Rock, on Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5.
Facing this schedule will be an experienced 2013 team that features two starting pitchers and six starting positional players from last season's 32-win campaign. Senior catcher Mike Spano earned second-team all-league honors after hitting .291 with 23 runs scored. Senior outfielder Corey Keller hit seven home runs and batted .302. Senior first baseman Mark Nelson also connected on seven home runs while leading the team with 45 runs batted in.
On the mound, junior right hander Kevin Alexander went 5-1 with a 3.29 earned run average in nine starts last spring. Left hander Austin Gomber tallied 63 strikeouts and a 3.82 ERA during his freshman campaign in 2012. Redshirt senior reliever Hugh Adams, a former All-SBC and All-South Central region pick, returns after missing last season with an injury. Several new freshmen pitchers will add depth to the 2013 starting pitching rotation and relief unit.