‘Battle of the Birds': Eagles to Host No. 9 Hurricanes at Hammond Stadium on April 14
Friday, April 09, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Battle of the Birds tickets still available for sale. Reserve your seat as the FGCU baseball team will face the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday, April 14 at Hammond Stadium in the ‘Battle of the Birds’. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, April 14
Location: Fort Myers, Fla.
Game Time: 6:30 pm
Stadium: Hammond Stadium
Opponent: University of Miami

The Eagles, who recently defeated FIU 10-7 on the road, are 18-10 overall (9-3 A-Sun). FGCU features two of the top pitchers in the conference in Chris Sale (Lakeland, Fla.) and Richie Erath (West Palm Beach, Fla.). The pair has allowed only 18 earned runs, racked up 99 strikeouts in 91.2 innings pitched, and have a combined record of 8-1. Sale, who picked up A-Sun and CollegeBaseballInsider.com Pitcher of the Week honors this week, leads the conference in ERA (1.26) and strikeouts (62). The junior left-hander averages 1.44 strikeouts per inning.

Through 28 games, FGCU holds a .346 team batting average with nine players hitting above .321. The team is led by A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Zach Maxfield’s (North Port, Fla.) .406 average with 29 RBI, 22 runs scored, and four home runs. Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) is second on the squad with a .381 average to go with his 26 RBI, 30 runs, and three home runs. Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.), FGCU’s leader in homers (7), and Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) have combined for 61 runs, 51 RBI, and are hitting .354 and .373, respectively. The Blue and Green have outscored their opponents 244-160 thus far and have a pitching staff that has struck out 236 batters while walking 96.

No. 9 Miami is currently 22-7 overall this season (10-2 ACC) and have won seven consecutive and 12 of their last 14 games. As a team, the Hurricanes are hitting .302 and have six players hitting .300 or better. Miami is led by Yasmani Grandal’s .396 batting average and Harold Martinez leads the team with eight homers. Miami’s pitching staff has an ERA of 3.54, led by Chris Hernandez's (4-2 record) 2.45 ERA and team-leading 46 strikeouts.

The contest with the Hurricanes marks the second consecutive season that the Eagles have hosted a BCS conference opponent in a Hammond Stadium event. In last year’s “Slammin’ at Hammond” event, the Eagles fell to the then #22 ranked Florida Gators, 12-3. The contest was played in front of 5,147 spectators, the largest single-game “home” event in FGCU Athletics history. A few weeks later the Eagles extracted revenge with a 17-5 victory over the then #9 ranked Gators on their home diamond up in Gainesville.

Hammond Stadium is a baseball venue located in the Lee County Sports Complex. The stadium was built in 1991 and holds 7,500 fans. It is the Spring Training home of the Minnesota Twins, and houses the Fort Myers Miracle, their Class A Advanced affiliate in the Florida State League.

Reserved seating for the event will be $9.00 and general admission will be $6.00. FGCU students and Eagles Club members, who have All-Sports Passes, will receive a complimentary ticket for admission.

To purchase tickets, you can contact the FGCU Ticket Office at 239-590-7145, visit the FGCU Ticket Office at Alico Arena, or log on to FGCUAthletics.com

If you are interested in purchasing a large group of tickets (10 or more), contact Matt Collver, FGCU Director of Ticket Operations, by phone at (239) 590-7145 or by email at mcollver@fgcu.edu regarding group rates and for seating availability.

Directions to Hammond Stadium
From the South
Via I-75: Take I-75 to exit 131 (Daniels Parkway). Turn left (west) on Daniels Parkway to Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Make a left on Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Hammond Stadium is ahead on the right.

Via US-41: Travel North on US-41 to Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Turn right onto Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Ballpark will be ahead on your left.

From the North
Via I-75: Take I-75 to exit 136 (Colonial Blvd). Turn right (west) on Colonial to Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Make a left on Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Hammond Stadium is ahead on the right.

Via US-41: Travel South on US-41 to Daniels Parkway. Turn left onto Daniels Parkway. After a few miles, turn right onto Six Mile Cypress Parkway, ballpark will be on the right. From the Beaches Take Summerlin Road to Gladiolus Drive. Turn right onto Gladiolus Drive and cross US-41. Once you've crossed US-41, it becomes Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. Ballpark will be ahead on your left.