Feb. 13, 2013
CINCINNATI at FLORIDA ATLANTIC
FAU Baseball Stadium - Boca Raton, Fla.
Friday, Feb. 15 - 6:30 p.m. ET | GameTracker
Saturday, Feb. 16 - 2 p.m. ET | GameTracker
Sunday, Feb. 17 - Noon ET | GameTracker
SETTING THE SCENE
-The University of Cincinnati baseball team begins the 2013 campaign Friday through Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla. for a three-game nonconference series against Florida Atlantic University.
-Game 1 of the series will begin 6:30 p.m. ET Friday and feature UC redshirt junior pitcher Christian McElroy taking on lefty Austin Gomber, who earned preseason All-Sun Belt Conference honors by Perfect Game.
-The second game of the series is scheduled for a 2 p.m. ET first pitch and will feature one of three UC seniors, RHP Andrew Strenge.
-The series finale is set to for a noon start and will mark redshirt freshman right-hander Connor Walsh's college debut.
-GoBearcats.com will have postgame reports from all three games, we well as live statistics via GameTracker.
NOW PITCHING FOR UC ...
-UC will hand the ball to redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Christian McElroy in the season opener on Friday.
-McElroy was selected in the 32nd round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, but opted to remain at UC.
-Last season, McElroy appeared in 13 ballgames with nine starts, posted a 4.41 ERA with four wins and 46 strikeouts in 63.1 innings pitched. He finished sixth in the BIG EAST Conference in fewest hits allowed (59) and 12th in opponent batting average (.252), and did not allow a triple the entire season. In three of 13 appearances, he did not allow an earned run.
-The 6-foot-4 Middletown, Ohio native pitched at least six innings in five of nine starts.
-McElroy will be making his second start at Florida Atlantic, with hopes of it going better than his first. On Feb. 21, 2010, McElroy suffered a season-ending arm injury in his collegiate debut at FAU, after pitching just 1.1 innings, which forced him to use a medical redshirt season.
-Game 2 of the FAU series will feature senior RHP Andrew Strenge, who is looking to bounce back after an injury-plagues junior season.
-Strenge was was the team's No. 1 starter for the first four weeks of the season before missing at least three potential starts due to shoulder fatigue. Before the injury, he boasted a 2.33 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 19.1 innings pitched while holding opponents to just a .203 batting average. Pre-injury Strenge was tied for fifth in the BIG EAST in strikeouts (23) and earned runs allowed (5) , as well as sixth in opponent batting average (.203), seventh in ERA (2.33) and hits allowed (15) and ninth in total runs allowed (8).
-The Yardley, Pa. native ended the season pitching in 13 games with eight starts, a 7.12 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.
-Game 3 of the series will feature redshirt freshman Connor Walsh, who will be making his collegiate debut after sitting out the entire 2012 season due to arm surgery.
-Six starters return for FAU in 2013, as well as four starting pitchers from an Owls squad that went 32-22 overall in 2012, including 19-8 in the league play to win the Sun Belt Conference regular season championship.
-FAU was picked to win repeat as Sun Belt champions by the league's coaches. The Owls has also been ranked No. 1 in SBC preseason polls by Baseball America and Perfect Game.
-Senior first baseman Mark Nelson and sophomore starting pitcher Austin Gomber were named preseason All-SBC selections.
-Gomber is one of FAU's two returning weekend starting pitchers from last season. The left hander from Winter Garden, Fla. had 63 strikeouts in 61.1 innings, compiled a 3.82 earned run average and tallied three victories on the mound.
THE SERIES VERSUS FAU
-UC is 1-8 all time against Florida Atlantic, will all nine games played in Boca Raton, Fla.
-The first meeting occurred during the 2005 season.
-UC's lone win came on Feb. 19, 2010.
Year Date Site Result
2005 2/11 A L, 7-6 (13)
2005 2/12 A L, 6-3
2005 2/13 A L, 11-9
2007 2/9 A L, 4-3
2007 2/10 A L, 14-13
2007 2/11 A L, 15-9
2010 2/19 A W, 5-3
2010 2/20 A L, 3-0
2010 2/21 A L, 9-0
TWO SKIPPERS, TWO EAGLES
-The Cincinnati at Florida Atlantic series will feature two head coaches who graduated and were baseball teammates at the same high school.
-Cincinnati head coach Brian Cleary and Florida Atlantic head coach John McCormack each attended Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Fla.
-McCormack graduated in the class of `85 and Cleary graduated in `86.