We now know the story of Florida Atlantic's season and how they got into the tournament, but now we need to delve into the scouting reports. Here's a complete look at their top hitters and pitchers. It's mostly stats, because there just isn't that much out there on FAU. Print this out, tape it to your fridge, make notecards--- whatever you need to do to be ready for Friday's game.
HEAD COACH: John McCormack
McCormack is in his second year at the helm of the FAU program, but prior to his promotion, he served elven years as associate head coach. He's brought in a talented group of first year players this season that has the Owls playing their best baseball in years. Last season, FAU went 30-26 overall and 11-18 in the Sun Belt Conference.
Andy Mee - Jr.
Stats: .388 // 245 AB // 8 HR // 53 RBI
The versatile FAU outfielder is not only the team's biggest threat offensively, but he doubles as the team's closer. He finished fourth in the conference in batting average (Garrett Wittels was first!) and second in hits. This is his first year in the program-- he transfered in from Sante Fe Junior College before the season, where he was the team MVP in both of his seasons there.
Dan Scheffler - Jr.
Stats: .367 // 207 AB // 14 HR // 63 RBI
The junior first baseman is FAU's best home-run hitter, although the Owls have several players who are a threat to leave the ballpark in any at-bat. He finished tied for eighth in the Sun Belt in home runs, and fifth in batting average. He also leads the team in RBI. He also transfered in to FAU before the season, from Palm Beach Community College.
Raymond Church - Jr.
Stats: .326 // 221 AB // 9 HR // 43 RBI
A teammate of Scheffler's at Palm Beach Community College, Raymond Church has also had a solid year offensively. He plays second base for the Owls, and is one of their speedier guys on the basepaths.
Nick Delguidice - Jr.
Stats: .307 // 228 AB // 9 HR // 52 RBI
Guess what? Delguidice transfered in for this season too. He went to Lake Sumter Community College, and plays shortstop.
Eddie Cassidy - Jr.
Stats: .306 // 157 AB // 6 HR // 33 RBI
Will likely DH for FAU.
Nathan Pittman - Fr.
Stats: .288 // 80 AB // 3 HR // 11 RBI
Chase Vergason - Fr.
Stats: .288 // 80 AB // 1 HR // 10 RBI
Situational pinch hitter, hasn't started in several games. Bats lefty.
Colby Gratton - Jr.
Stats: .277 // 177 AB // 5 HR // 26 RBI
Usually starts in left field. FAU's biggest threat to run on the basepaths.
Anthony Mesa - Sr.
Stats: .273 // 161 AB // 6 HR // 25 RBI
Mike Albaladego - So.
Stats: .268 // 198 AB // 2 HR // 17 RBI
FAU's catcher, usually bats second in the lineup. Good speed on the basepaths.
Sean Bukovich - Jr.
Stats: . 267 // 90 AB // 3 HR // 17 RBI
Switch-hitting third baseman. Had a particularly hot bat during the Sun Belt tournament.
Joey Burkhalter - So.
Stats: .294 // 68 AB // 1 HR // 5 RBI
Mike Gipson - Jr. RHP
Stats: 8-1 // 15 GS // 3.40 ERA // 106 IP
This is who the Beavers will see on Friday.
Ryan Garton - So. RHP
Stats: 6-3 // 9 GS, 16 APP // 4.72 ERA // 74.1 IP
Will start FAU's game on Saturday.
R.J. Alvarez - Fr. RHP
Stats: 3-1 // 10 GS, 15 APP // 4.74 ERA // 57.0 IP
Kevin Alexander - Fr. RHP
Stats: 3-3 // 9 GS, 15 APP // 6.71 ERA // 57.2 IP
Andy Mee - Jr. RHP
Stats: 1-2 // 11 Saves // 21 APP // 2.96 ERA // 24.1 IP
Mee plays both outfield and pitcher for FAU... he's their closer.
Taylor Everist - Jr. RHP
Stats: 2-7 // 12 GS, 16 APP // 6.88 ERA // 51 IP
Generally starts the third game of the series for FAU. The Beavers shouldn't have to deal with him on Friday, unless he comes out of the bullpen as a reliever.
Ryan Bernal - Sr. RHP
Stats: 6-3 // 29 APP // 3.15 ERA // 40 IP
Lou Morey - Sr. RHP
Stats: 0-0 // 14 APP // 3.20 ERA // 19.2 IP
Hugh Adams - So. RHP
Stats: 5-1 // 18 APP // 7.15 ERA // 34 IP
FAU does have several left-handed pitchers on the roster, but they haven't been used very often. Oregon State tends to struggle with left handed pitching, so FAU could experiment with either Barry Rooks or Jason Boyer.
Overall, this is a team that's made a lot of progress this year under McCormack. Last year they were unsure if they'd even make the Sun Belt tournament field, this year they won the conference. This will be an inspired team looking to make some noise. They've made considerable comebacks in games on numerous occasions, and have fought for everything they've gotten.
First pitch between the Owls and Beavers is scheduled for 10:00am on Friday from Gainesville, Florida.
--Jake | (firstname.lastname@example.org)