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by: Stetson University
Hatters Open 6-game Homestand Wednesday vs. FAMU
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  03/25/2014
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First Pitch
After opening Atlantic Sun Conference play last weekend at East Tennessee State, the Hatters briefly return to non-conference action when they host Florida A&M on Wednesday afternoon at Melching Field.
    Stetson is looking to right the ship against the Rattlers in advance of a key A-Sun home series with Florida Gulf Coast this weekend. The Hatters have lost five of their last eight games since sweeping Siena in early March.

Stetson vs. Florida A&M
Wednesday’s game marks the 43rd meeting between the Hatters and the Rattlers, with Stetson holding a 37-5 advantage in the series. Stetson has won four straight games in the series, including a 9-4 win on March 26 of last season in DeLand. Stetson head coach Pete Dunn is 36-5 all-time against the Rattlers. Florida A&M’s last win in the series was a 12-8 victory on April 16, 2003 at Melching Field.

Scouting the Hatters
Stetson comes into play on Wednesday looking to gain some momentum before hosting conference leader Florida Gulf Coast this weekend. The Hatters lost two of three in their conference-opening weekend at East Tennessee State last week.
    The Hatters are still searching for consistency in all areas of play. The offense has picked up the pace somewhat over the last few weeks, hitting .267 and scoring an average of 4.4 runs per game over the last 16 games. But the increase in offense has led to just six victories in that span.
    Stetson’s pitching staff has turned in a solid 4.71 team ERA through the first 24 games, but over the last six games the bullpen is pitching to a 7.71 ERA.
    The Hatters have just two regulars -- Patrick Mazeika (.317) and Josh Powers (.310) -- hitting over .300, while four others are hitting between .250 and .266.
    Wednesday’s starter is freshman Mitchell Jordan. The right-hander will be making his fifth start of the season in search of his first win. He is 0-3 with a team-leading 3.81 ERA.

Scouting the Rattlers
Florida A&M enters Wednesday’s game with a 7-14 overall record following a weekend split against MEAC foe North Carolina Central. First-year head coach Jamey Shouppe, the long-time former Florida State pitching coach, is trying to turn around a program which has combined to lose 92 games over the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
    The 2014 Rattlers enter Wednesday’s game with a .274 team batting average and a 5.31 team ERA. FAMU is off to a 4-4 start in MEAC play. Four regulars are hitting over .300
    Florida A&M has an outstanding baseball history, and counts among its alums former MLB stars Vince Coleman, Marquis Grissom, Hal McRae and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson.
    
Cockrell Named A-Sun Pitcher of the Week
Stetson freshman Taylor Cockrell has been named Atlantic Sun Conference pitcher of the week, the league office announced on March 10.
    Cockrell earns the first weekly A-Sun award of his career after tossing a complete game, five-hitter on March 9 against Siena. The right-hander from Lake Wales, Fla., struck out 10 batters and only allowed one walk. Cockrell needed only 106 pitches to subdue the Saints.

Three Dot Data
Junior SS Tyler Bocock and junior INF Kyle Pitts each hit their first career home runs last weekend at East Tennessee State ...  sophomore OF/INF Kevin Fagan is batting .087 (1-for-28) since having his 13-game hitting streak snapped on March 12 vs. Miami ... when Bocock and C/DH Garrett Russini each homered in the first game of Stetson’s doubleheader at ETSU on Saturday it marked the first time the Hatters had more than one home run in a game since also hitting a pair at ETSU on May 13, 2012, a span of 88 games ... Stetson’s catching trio of Russini, Patrick Mazeika and Wade McNabb have thrown out more would-be base stealers (16) than any other group in the A-Sun ... Russini currently leads the conference with four triples ... sophomore RP Tyler Warmoth has a career-high four saves, which ties him for third in the A-Sun.

Hatters Picked Sixth, Mazeika Honored
Stetson’s baseball team was picked to finish sixth in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference race, and sophomore first baseman Patrick Mazeika was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Conference team in voting by A-Sun head coaches.
    The Hatters received a total of 60 points in the coaches poll, finishing just behind fifth place Kennesaw State (64). Stetson returns six seniors among its 19 letter winners from last season’s 26-31 squad.
    Defending regular-season champion Mercer received seven first place votes and 97 total points en route to being named as the preseason favorite. North Florida (86) received one first place vote, while Florida Gulf Coast (73) received two first place votes. Defending tournament champion East Tennessee (69) is fourth in the preseason poll, followed by Kennesaw State, Stetson, Lipscomb (34), USC Upstate (30), Jacksonville (27) and Northern Kentucky (10).
    Mazeika was one of three unanimous selections to the Preseason All-Conference team. The 2013 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Mazeika batted .382 with three home runs and 33 RBI in 57 games. Mazeika was also a first-team all-conference selection and was a consensus Freshman All-America honoree.
    Mercer’s Chesny Young was named preseason player of the year, while Chad Sobotka of USC Upstate and Michael Massi of Mercer were named as pitcher and defensive player of the year, respectively.

Stetson Baseball History
A participant in Florida’s first intercollegiate baseball game in 1902 (W, 4-0 vs. Rollins), Stetson has been playing baseball since 1901. The Hatters are beginning their 97th season of competition, with the program being dormant during both World Wars.
    The Hatters have had plenty of success on the field, winning 1,913 total games and carrying a .571 winning percentage into the 2014 season.
    Stetson has participated in 17 NCAA Regionals, 2011 being the last time, and captured eight Atlantic Sun Conference championships (Stetson was an independent in baseball until 1987).
    Stetson has produced its share of Major League Baseball talent as well, boasting a pair of first round draft picks and nine Major Leaguers, including current Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson and Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber. Others to play in the big leagues include: Brian Bocock, Lenny DiNardo, Eric Knott, Kevin Nicholson, Wade Rowdon, Bill Swaggerty and George Tsamis.

Up Next
The Hatters continue Atlantic Sun Conference play when they host league-leading Florida Gulf Coast for a three-game series, beginning 6:30 p.m., Friday at Melching Field.

Stetson Baseball




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