Cajuns head into pivotal series with FAU

For the second time this month, the Florida Atlantic baseball team heads to Louisiana with a share of the lead in the Sun Belt Conference standings.

This time, the Owls face a team that’s warming up.

FAU square off against Louisiana-Lafayette in a three-game series, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.

Halfway through the conference season, the Owls are in a three-way tie for first place with a 10-5 record.

The Cajuns are two games back.

FAU won the final two games of last weekend’s series from Middle Tennessee.

The Owls pitching staff leads the Sun Belt with a 3.17 ERA. Anchoring the rotation is sophomore Austin Gomber (4-2_, who ranks second in the league with a 2.28 ERA. The left-hander is also second in the Sun Belt with 62 strikeouts.

ULL, meanwhile, is coming off a 12-0 win at Northwestern State on Wednesday.

Tyler Girouard leads the Cajuns offense with a .394 batting average, seven home runs and 32 RBIs. Caleb Adams has also hit seven homers.

The team has seven players hitting .300 or better in the lineup.

ULL’s pitching staff has compiled a 4.33 ERA, and right-hander Austin Robichaux
(5-2) was named this week’s Sun Belt pitcher of the week after a 14-strikeout complete-game performance at UALR.

He has a 2.45 ERA.

FAU junior right-hander Jeremy Strawn, a member of the weekend rotation all season, has a 2-2 record and 3.55 ERA. He is scheduled to start Saturday’s game.

Brandon Rhodes (3-1, 2.79) is set to start Sunday.

Senior closer Hugh Adams leads the SBC with 11 saves and ranks third nationally in that category. The right hander is four saves shy of tying the all-time SBC record for career saves.

Junior Kevin Alexander (2-3, 2.63), sophomore Bo Logan (3-0, 1.80) and senior Michael Sylvestri (3-0, 2.30) have helped lead the Owls’ strong relief unit.

Offensively, sophomore Mitch Morales ranks ninth in the conference with a .354 batting average. The shortstop drove in a pair of two-out runs as part of a three-run fifth inning at UCF on Tuesday. Morales has 22 runs scored and 22 RBIs this season.

Senior Nathan Pittman leads the team with 27 runs and 10 stolen bases. He also is hitting .323 from the leadoff spot. Pittman has 24 RBIs and nine doubles. Junior Tyler Rocklein ranks fifth in the conference with 14 doubles.