ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES
at Florida Atlantic Owls
April 30-May 2, 2010 5:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m. & 11:00 a.m. (CT)
FAU Stadium (2,000) Boca Raton, Florida
Radio: KBTM 1230 AM & AStateRedWolves.com
LiveStats Available at AStateRedWolves.com
LEADING OFF: The Arkansas State Red Wolves (23-17, 12-6) return to action this weekend when they travel to Boca Raton, Fla. to take on the Owls of Florida Atlantic (26-15, 14-7) in a three-game Sun Belt Conference weekend series at FAU Stadium. The series gets underway Friday when Red Wolves and Owls take the field for the 5:30 p.m. (CT) series opener. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. (CT), and Sunday's finale is set to begin at 11:00 a.m. (CT). All ASU games may be heard on KBTM 1230 AM and through the StateZone portion of AStateRedWolves.com. LiveStats may also be accessed by logging on to AStateRedWolves.com.
THE TEAMS: Arkansas State has been idle since April 25, when the Red Wolves lost 7-6 to South Alabama in the deciding game of last weekend's SBC series against the Jaguars. Arkansas State opened the series with a 9-8, 10-inning victory over USA. South Alabama evened the series with a 9-4 win in game two of a Saturday double-header, then rallied in the ninth inning of Sunday's game to clinch the series with the 7-6 win. The Red Wolves have dropped six of their last seven games overall, but have won eight consecutive SBC games played on the road. Florida Atlantic has won eight of its last nine games heading into this weekend's action. FAU has also won five of its last six conference games, sweeping Western Kentucky two weeks ago before winning two of three games last weekend on the road at ULM. The Owls opened the series at ULM with an 8-7 win before the Warhawks pulled even with a 6-5 win in game two. FAU earned the series win with a 13-1 blowout in the Sunday rubber game. The Owls posted an 8-4 win over Bethune Cookman Wednesday night in their only midweek contest. Arkansas State and FAU are in a three-way logjam with Middle Tennessee in second place in the Sun Belt Conference standings. All three teams have posted a winning percentage of .667 in league action and are just behind first-place South Alabama. The Jaguars are 15-6 in SBC play, with a winning percentage of .714.
THE FAU SERIES: The two teams have met just nine times, with the Owls holding a 5-3-1 advantage in the series. When the two teams met last season in Jonesboro, FAU posted a 9-5 win in the Friday night opener, before Arkansas State tied the series with 10-6 win in Saturday's game, with current junior Andy Ferguson picking up the win on the mound. Ferguson struck out seven batters, five of them looking, in eight innings to get the win. In the Sunday contest, the Owls overcame a 6-5 ASU advantage with four runs in the eighth inning and went on to clinch the series victory with a 10-6 win. The last time the two teams met in Boca Raton, the series ended in a 1-1-1 deadlock during the 2008 season. Arkansas State posted an 8-2 victory in the Friday game, before FAU evened the series in a big way with a 20-3 win in the Saturday game. The Sunday contest ended in an 11-11, six-inning tie due to the SBC Sunday get-away rule.
ON THE MOUND FOR ASU: Junior right-hander Andy Ferguson will get the Friday night start when the series opens April 30. Ferguson (3-2, 4.87 ERA) has made 10 appearances on the year, giving up 40 runs (33 earned) in 61.0 innings of work. He has walked 16 batters, while striking out 53. Sophomore Jacob Lee (5-2) will get the call in the Sunday finale. Lee has logged 61.1 innings of work in 10 appearances this year, giving up 27 runs (25 earned) on 56 hits with a team-high 56 strikeouts and 25 walks. He will take an ERA of 3.67 into the weekend series. Saturday's starter for the Red Wolves has not been decided.
ON DECK: The Red Wolves will play the first of seven consecutive home games Tuesday, May 4 when the Red Wolves host Tennessee-Martin in a 6:30 p.m. game. Following the UTM contest, ASU will host FIU next weekend in a three-game SBC series, then welcome Murray State and Ole Miss to Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field for next week's midweek action.
SUCCESS IN EXTRA INNINGS: With its 9-8, 10-inning victory over South Alabama April 24, the Red Wolves improved to 3-0 this season in games that have gone into extra innings. Arkansas State also defeated Middle Tennessee and Milwaukee-Wisconsin in extra innings, both by a score of 4-3 in 10 innings.
SIX IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: The Red Wolves are averaging 6.80 runs per game this season, and when reaching the six-run mark, Arkansas State is 18-2 on the year. Conversely, when scoring just five runs or less, the Red Wolves are 5-15 on the season.