Baseball Travels Across State to Face FIU in Wednesday Evening Contest
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | by Caleb Baker (@calebaker)
Photo by Dennis Snyder
Photo by Dennis Snyder
FGCU (9-16)
FIU Panthers (12-12)
3/28/2012 | Miami, Fla. | Attendance: 503
FIU Panthers01131040X10140
Win: Caballero (1-0) 5.033313
Loss: COONEY (0-2) 3.042101
Garcia (FIU) 333101

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off an Atlantic Sun series loss to ETSU last weekend at Swanson Stadium, the FGCU baseball team will head to Miami, Fla. to face FIU on Wednesday in the first contest of a home-and-home non-conference series between the schools this season. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.

The Green and Blue enter the mid-week contest with a 9-15 (3-3 A-Sun) overall record. Last weekend, ETSU earned victories in the final two games to take the A-Sun series after FGCU won on Friday night, 4-0, behind sophomore Ricky Knapp’s (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS) second straight complete-game shutout. The shutout featured a career-high eight strikeouts, no walks and six hits over the 120-pitch outing. For the season, Knapp owns a 4-1 record with an A-Sun low 1.30 ERA, 25 strikeouts and just four walks in a team-high 41.2 innings pitched.

The Eagles have been led offensively by sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) and senior Ryan Gebhart (Waco, Texas/Midway HS/Missouri), hitting .278 and .276, respectively, while leading the squad with 17 and 16 runs scored. Bednar has driven in 11 RBI, while Gebhart has stolen six bases in eight attempts to lead the team. Connecting for a team-high 14 extra-base hits and leading the squad with 43 total bases, sophomore Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) is batting .260 with a team-best five home runs, 24 RBI and a .589 slugging percentage, in addition to scoring 11 times.

FGCU will use a combination of arms in the ballgame and have yet to announce its starter for the contest.

FIU heads into its Tuesday evening contest with Bethune-Cookman holding a 10-12 (2-4 Sun Belt) mark. The Panthers are coming off a 2-1 Sun Belt series win over Western Kentucky (W 6-5, W 5-3, L 9-4) and also defeated then-No. 8 Florida State, 8-5, earlier this season in Tallahassee, Fla. FIU has been led at the plate by Mike Martinez, who is hitting .371 with 13 runs scored and team-highs of 17 RBI and two home runs. Martinez has a team-best nine extra-base hits and also owns a .557 slugging percentage and .489 on-base percentage. FIU has also not announced a starter for the contest.

The all-time record between the two schools sits in favor of FGCU, 6-3, including a 4-1 mark when playing on the road. FIU closes the home-and-home series with trip to Swanson Stadium on May 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Live stats, in-game Twitter updates, results and recaps of all FGCU events will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.