Miednik pitched two innings during Wednesday’s victory over FIU in the tournament’s opening game. That game was the only one of the four on the schedule completed on the tournament’s opening day.
As a result, the Owls’ second game has been pushed back to Friday morning, and Thursday’s delays push it back even further. No. 3 seeded FAU will face No. 7 Rice, which defeated No. 2 Louisiana Tech on Thursday in the conclusion of Wednesday’s suspended game.
Miednik only threw 34 pitches – essentially a midweek bullpen session – before the first of two weather delays on Wednesday. When play resumed, he didn’t return to the mound.
By tossing Miednik again on Friday. McCormack is actually looking at the big picture.
“If we push him to Saturday, then if we go to a regional he’s not available to start,” FAU coach John McCormack said.
Miednik played catch on Thursday while the Owls practiced at nearby Biloxi High School. McCormack wants to speak with the lefty before making a final decision. An All-Conference USA selection, Miednik battled shoulder tendinitis during the final month of the season before making his final two scheduled starts.
Should McCormack elect not to use Miednik, he’ll turn to Mark Nowatnick, himself working his way back from injury. Nowatnick strained an oblique in late April and hasn’t pitched in a game since. He was scheduled to return for Saturday’s regular season finale against Western Kentucky, but that weather forced the cancellation of that game.
Another benefit of the day off is that Blake Sanderson should also be available for Friday’s game. Sanderson relieved Miednik, tossing three scoreless innings leading into the second weather delay of the day.
McCormack isn’t as upbeat about the return of right fielder David Miranda, who strained a hamstring while running to first on what turned out to be the game-winning hit – a three-run single in the bottom of the eighth.
The Owls’ RBI leader, Miranda spent Thursday’s batting practice on the sideline stretching and working on agility. McCormack labeled Miranda “day to day.” If Miranda is healthy enough he could be the Owls designated hitter but, again, McCormack has his focus on more than this weekend.
“We’re here to win this thing but you’ve got to keep one eye on the future,” McCormack said. “Next Wednesday, Thursday, we might be heading to a regional and we want to be at full strength.”