No. 24 @FGCU_Baseball Treks to No. 5 Florida State for Pair of Mid-Week Contests
Monday, April 01, 2013 | by Caleb Baker
Soph. RHP Zack Tillery (2-1, 3.00 ERA) is set to open the two-game series at No. 4 Florida State (Photo by J. Meric)
Soph. RHP Zack Tillery (2-1, 3.00 ERA) is set to open the two-game series at No. 4 Florida State (Photo by J. Meric)
#24 Florida Gulf Coast (18-7)
#5 Florida State (25-4)
4/2/2013 | Tallahassee, Fla. | Attendance: 4766
Florida Gulf Coast0001501209111
Florida State00500511X12122
Win: Smith (4-0) 2.111002
Loss: COONEY (1-3) 1.125540
RIVERA (FGCU) 412110
SUCHY (FGCU) 512000
Delph (FS) 312010
Brizuela (FS) 412110
Smit (FS) 432010
Sansone (FS) 222221

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The No. 24 FGCU baseball team is set to begin a stretch of five straight road games as it travels to Tallahassee, Fla. for a pair of mid-week contests with No. 5 Florida State, beginning Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium.

The two teams continue the series with another 6 p.m. start on Wednesday evening.

FGCU enters the pair of contests with an 18-6 overall record, coming off a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series against Lipscomb. The Eagles took the series opener, 8-0, before dropping game two, 5-2. The Green and Blue earned the series victory over the Bisons with a 4-3 win in the Saturday finale. It marked the second-straight A-Sun series win for the Eagles, who now sit at 4-2 in league action after taking two of three at ETSU (Mar. 22-23) to open the conference slate.

The Eagles continue to be ranked by multiple national outlets, landing as high as No. 24 this week by Perfect Game. FGCU is also slotted No. 25 and No. 28 in the Collegiate Baseball and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) polls, respectively. The Green and Blue were among other receiving votes in the USA Today poll (30th) while also landing at No. 11 in the College Baseball Daily Mid-Major Top 25.  According to Boyd’s World, the Eagles are currently ranked No. 40 in the RPI, while coming in at No. 42 by WarrenNolan.com.

FGCU is set to send sophomore right-hander Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) to the mound to open the series on Tuesday. Holding a 3.00 ERA through five starts, the Naples, Fla. native sports a 2-1 record with 12 strikeouts and a .256 opponent average in 24.0 innings of work.

The Eagles have yet to name a starter for the Wednesday evening contest.

Redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) continues to lead the offensive charge, hitting .365 with 19 RBI and 17 runs scored while holding a .563 slugging and .418 on-base percentage. Beisner leads the squad with four home runs and has established a team-best 54 total bases this season.

Nearly matching Beisner’s production, junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) is hitting .363 with team-highs of 22 RBI and 25 runs scored. Recording a team-best four stolen bases, the Stuart, Fla. product holds a .520 slugging percentage while reaching base at a .416 rate.

With on-base percentages of .426 and .425, respectively, senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) (.354) and junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) (.348) are hitting above the .300 plateau this season. Reeves has driven in 13 RBI and scored 17 times, while Dwyer has connected for three home runs, brought in 22 RBI and scored 19 runs.

Ranked No. 5 according to the USA Today Top 30, the Seminoles have established a 24-4 (8-4 ACC) overall record in the 34th season under the direction head coach Mike Martin. Two of the Noles four losses on the season came last weekend, dropping the ACC series at Virginia Tech (L 3-2, W 11-10, L 8-1) in Blacksburg, Va.

FSU is led at the plate by sophomore Jose Brizuela’s .337 average, driving in 24 RBI and scoring 20 times. Redshirt junior Stephen McGee has scored 23 runs while holding a .333 mark at the dish, driving in a team-high 25 RBI. Senior Seth Miller is also above the .300 mark, hitting at a .309 clip.

Left-handed sophomore Billy Strode is set to open the series on the mound for the Noles, holding a 1-0 record and a 0.63 ERA with 11 strikeouts and a .143 opponent average in 14.1 innings of work. Junior right-hander Peter Miller will start the second contest for FSU, sitting at 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA through 28.2 frames. Miller has retired 29 batters by strikeout while holding opponents to a .287 average at the plate.

The all-time series between the two squads sits in favor of the Noles, 4-1, with all five contests occurring in Tallahassee. In the previous meeting between the schools last season, the Eagles defeated then-No. 2 FSU (April 4), 5-1, marking the first of three-straight victories over nationally ranked foes for the Green and Blue.

Probable Starters
Tuesday, April 2 – 6 p.m.
FGCU – RHP Zack Tillery, Soph. (2-1, 3.00 ERA, 24.0 IP, 12 K, 10 BB, .256 B/Avg.)
FSU – LHP Billy Strode, Soph. (1-0, 0.63 ERA, 14.1 IP, 11 K, 3 BB, .143 B/Avg.)

Wednesday, April 3 – 6 p.m.
FSU – RHP Peter Miller, Jr. (3-1, 3.77 ERA, 28.2 IP, 29 K, 13 BB, .287 B/Avg.)

Fans can get updates and information on FGCU baseball all season long by visiting www.FGCUATHLETICS.com or by following the team on twitter @FGCU_Baseball.