BOCA RATON – It’s too early in the season to get wet.
With foul weather predicted for Florida’s east coast on Wednesday, FAU and Bethune-Cookman have elected to postpone the day’s scheduled game until March 7.
That means the Owls won’t take the field again until Friday at 6:30 p.m. when Indiana comes to town for the first of a three-game series.
The Owls intend to stick with the same weekend rotation employed when sweeping Monmouth during the opening weekend, which means Alex House on Friday, Jake Miednik on Saturday and Nick Swan on Sunday.
FAU coach John McCormack planned to give junior Marc Stewart his first start of the season on Wednesday. McCormack as also hoping to give starter/designated hitter Sean Labsan his first innings on the mound this season.
A candidate for the weekend rotation before a pectoral muscle issue slowed his spring progression, Labsan nearly pitched in Sunday’s 12-10 victory over Monmouth after the Owls opened large early lead but when the Hawks rallied to tighten the game McCormack elected to stick with his planned pattern for relievers.
Hot Start: FAU first baseman Esteban Puerta knows how to start a season. Last year C-USA named the then-junior its Hitter of the Week following a four-game stretch where Puerta hit .625. During the first weekend of this season Puerta hit .583 with two homers and 11 RBI – which somehow wasn’t good enough to claim another Hitter of the Week award.
Instead the award went to Charlotte’s Jackson Mims, who only hit .538 with a home run and only four RBI. Mims did hit for the cycle in one game but voters, Come on! Puerta’s numbers are significantly better.
Both McCormack and Puerta attributed the first baseman’s early success to experience.
“Since I’ve been here for quite a while I definitely feel really comfortable in there and it definitely has to do with experience,” Puerta said.
Swinging Owls: Puerta is one of three Owls hitting .500 or better following the opening weekend. Frank leads FAU with a .588 average after going 10-for-17 against Monmouth, adding a homer, seven RBI and six runs scored. Third baseman Austin Langham sits at an even .500 (5-for-10) with a home run.
The Owls pounded out 41 hits in three games and own a team batting average of .373. They’ve already scored 34 runs.
“We have the ability to score in many ways and I think we displayed that this weekend,” shortstop Tyler Frank said following Sunday’s win. “We had multiple home runs, multiple taking of extra bags and I think that’s just what we can display.”
Three for 2: FAU started the season with a three-way battle to become the everyday catcher. The first weekend didn’t seem to settle much. Playing for the first time since undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last year, Kevin Abraham struck for two hits in his first three at-bats before being struck in the face by a pitch, fracturing his cheek bone. There is no timeline for his return but the Owls are hopeful he won’t miss too much time.
Brad Mathiowetz also managed two hits in his seven at-bats. Pedro Pages went hitless in four weekend at-bats but did gun down a runner trying to steal. This competition could continue for a while, which could actually prove beneficial by helping keep all three players fresh come the end of the season.