Hammond Stadium Battle with No. 12 Miami Up Next for FGCU Baseball
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | by Caleb Baker (@calebaker)
#12 Miami (4-0)
Florida Gulf Coast (1-3)
2/22/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 2254
Florida Gulf Coast000000000030
Win: Steven Ewing (1-0) 7.010027
Loss: KNAPP (1-1) 7.093304
Peter O'Brien (UM) 414000

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off a three-game series at Swanson Stadium last weekend, the FGCU baseball team is set to host No. 12 Miami in the “Battle of the Birds” at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. It will mark the third straight season in which the Eagles and Hurricanes have met in the Hammond Stadium matchup.

The contest will be aired live on 770 AM ESPN Radio with David Moulton calling the play-by-play and Mark Miller providing color commentary. Fans can listen live by visiting www.770ESPN.com or by going to the www.FGCUAthletics.com homepage.

The Green and Blue enter the contest with a 1-2 record, coming off the opening weekend set with Bethune-Cookman. The Eagles earned a 7-3 victory over the Wildcats on Saturday, to pick up their first victory of the season.

FGCU is expected to start sophomore right-hander Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS). Entering in relief on Saturday, Knapp improved to 1-0 on the season after throwing 1.2 scoreless frames and allowing just one hit while striking out a pair of hitters. An Atlantic Sun All-Freshmen selection last season, Knapp finished 2011 with a 5-1 record while sitting down 51 batters through 69.1 innings.

At the plate, the Eagles are led by sophomore Sean Dwyer’s (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) .364 average. Through the first three contests, Dwyer drove in three RBI and scored on three occasions, adding a trio of walks and picking up his first home run of the season. Sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) also had a good opening weekend, sitting at .333 with one RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Miami’s (3-0) offensive effort has been led by Bethune-Cookman transfer Peter O’Brien, who hit .467 through the opening weekend sweep of Rutgers. O’Brien drove in three runs and score five times, while connecting for a pair of home runs. Brad Fieger is batting .444 for the Hurricanes with three runs scored and one RBI, while Esteban Tresgallo is also hitting .333.

The Hurricanes are set to send left-handed junior Steven Ewing to the mound to begin the contest. Ewing made one relief appearance against the Scarlet Knights, hurling three scoreless innings and accumulating four strikeouts. Ewing also started the Hammond Stadium contest against the Eagles last season, picking up the victory in a seven-inning performance which saw one earned run on three hits to go with eight strikeouts.

In last season’s “Battle of the Birds”, the Eagles dropped the 8-1 midweek game against the Hurricanes. The 2010 contest also saw the Green and Blue fall to the Canes in front of a crowd of 3,627. Miami has taken all seven meetings between the two programs.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by phone at 239-590-7145. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.FGCUAthletics.com/tickets.

Adult tickets are $10 for box seats and $7 for general admission seating. Youth along with faculty and staff tickets are $7 for box seats and $4 for general admission. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount rate of $7 for box seats and $4 for general admission. Students can attend the Hammond Stadium contest for free with valid Eagle ID. Tickets for the Hammond Stadium game are not included in the FGCU baseball season ticket package.

Probable Starters
FGCU – RHP Ricky Knapp, So. (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.2 IP, 2 SO, 0 BB, .167 B/Avg.)
MIAMI – LHP Steven Ewing, Jr. (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 4 SO, 0 BB, .000 B/Avg.)

Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles and @FGCUBaseball), results and recaps from all FGCU events are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.