Miednik, a senior lefty, will get the ball when the Owls open their season on Friday at 6:30 against George Washington, FAU coach John McCormack announced on Monday.
A preseason All-Conference USA pitcher, Miednik won seven games as a junior for the Owls last season, but did not get drafted.
McCormack’s seen a new, more comfortable attitude from Miednik during preseason ball.
“The one thing that I’ve liked that he’s done this fall is he has started to play baseball for his teammates and the joy of the game,” McCormack said. “Jake, for the first three years of his collegiate experience, played because he wanted to get drafted, and he worried about who was in the stands, and he worried about what was going to happen next, as opposed to being in the moment with his team.”
During the offseason McCormack attempted to instill in Miednik the belief that playing for the love of the game and for his teammates will help get him to the next level.
“I think that he’s really matured and I hope that for his sake that it results in a good year – and for our sake,” McCormack said.
Marman pitched mostly in relief for the Owls during his first two seasons, though he did start two games last season.
Since returning from summer ball, Marman changed his diet in an effort to increase performance. Listed at 225 pounds last season, the righty is now close to 200 pounds – with all the trimming down coming over the past six months.
The weight loss, coupled with better physical conditioning, led to more consistency with his pitches, increased efficiency and even a bit of an uptick on his fastball.
“I’m moving a lot better and stuff like that,” Marman said. “Generally, I just feel better. It’s changed my life really.”
In a bit of a surprise. McCormack tabbed newcomer Vince Coletti as the Sunday starter.
Coletti, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound righthander, went 8-3 in two seasons at Palm Beach St., including a perfect 5-0 last year. In both seasons Coletti posted a sub-3.00 ERA.
Sophomore righty Nick Prather will start the midweek games, at least for the time being.
Players and coaches raved about Prather’s performances in intrasquad scrimmages. As a freshman Prather pitched in 11 games for FAU posting a 1-0 record and a 4.86 ERA.
“He gets a ton of swings and misses,” McCormack said. “He has three legitimate pitches. He’s done a really good job with his body. His mechanics are a little bit unorthodox but his work in the weight room has allowed him to repeat his delivery.”
Prather is scheduled to draw early season starts against Florida, Miami (potentially three times), Oregon and North Florida – among others – prior to the start of Conference USA play.
In past years, successful midweek starts often served as a launching pad into FAU’s weekend rotation during conference play.
“Sometimes I think that those guys on a Tuesday night under the lights, that’s a little bit, maybe, tougher assignment than Sunday at home because of everything that goes with it.”
Redshirt junior right-hander Blake Sanderson and senior Mark Nowatnick, also a righty, should figure into mid-week starts.
A reliever much of last season Nowatnick earned a promotion into the weekend rotation late last season before a foot injury ended his season. Nowatnick’s recovery from that injury led to arm soreness.
He’s only thrown a handful of innings thus far in the preseason, putting him behind the other Owl starters in relation to readiness.
Lefty Nick Swan and righty Marc Stewart, a duo that combined to start 12 games last season, will begin the season as long relievers but could also draw midweek starts.