Baseball team keeps winning tradition

The FAU baseball team’s nickname is about the only thing that will not be the same next year. With the branding initiative underway, the FAU Blue Wave will complete their final season as just that, before they change over to the FAU Owls next season.

The only other entity of the team that will not be the same next year is their starting second baseman Derek Hutton. Hutton is the only four year player on the squad. He was not expecting to be back this season because he entered the draft. After not being drafted, Hutton is back and ready to take the team back to the top of the conference.

Ranked 30 in the nation in the pre-season polls, the Blue Wave will be playing some tough opponents including Texas Christian University and Georgia Tech, who they lost to in the Super Regionals 2002. Hutton is the only player on this year’s squad that was on the team then.

Head Coach Kevin Cooney thinks that their toughest opponents this year have been the team themselves. “We’re so inexperienced in so many places. We don’t have a great returning pitcher and hitter. We’re deep, we’re talented, but we’re not experienced.”

However, there is one great returning hitter, and that’s Tim Mascia. Last season, Mascia hit over .400, starting in all but one game last season. He also had 60 runs batted in. Another player that might step up to the plate is Chris Akins, who walked onto the team before fall practice started. “He’s real fast and has been hitting the ball with power,” said Mascia.

The Blue Wave, coming off of their first Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship Title, is picked to finish second in the conference behind last years conference champion UCF by the conference media polls.

Coach Cooney also announced a dinner that will take place on Feb. 22 in the FAU gymnasium to help the baseball team begin fundraising for a new stadium. Ticket prices haven’t been announced yet, but the MC of the event is former professional player Tommy Hutton, who is also the Florida Marlins commentator and the father of Derek Hutton. Special guests include Marlins Pitcher Dontrelle Willis and centerfielder Juan Pierre, with an even bigger guest to be named later.

The Blue Wave will open their season next weekend against Cincinnati at home, before welcoming TCU the following weekend.