FGCU Baseball Heads to FIU for Mid-Week Doubleheader on Wednesday
|Win: BIXLER (4-3)||4.1||3||3||3||2||4|
|Loss: Caballero (1-3)||3.0||8||7||7||1||2|
|Win: TILLERY (3-1)||6.0||6||2||2||1||3|
|Loss: Seibold (2-4)||2.0||1||1||1||1||2|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Fresh off an Atlantic Sun Conference sweep last weekend, the FGCU baseball team will look to keep its momentum as it heads to Miami, Fla. to face in-state foe FIU in a doubleheader matchup on Wednesday. First pitch for the first contest is set for 1 p.m. at the FIU Baseball Stadium.
Originally scheduled for a single-game meeting, the two teams have agreed to play a doubleheader in an effort to makeup the contest from March 20, which was called due to rain.
With the trio of league wins last weekend, the Eagles improved to 25-16 (11-7 A-Sun) overall this season. The Panthers head into the mid-week pair with a 23-19 (11-10 Sun Belt) mark on the year. The Eagles hold a 6-5 edge in the all-time series between the two schools.
In its largest margin of victory of the season, FGCU finished an A-Sun weekend series sweep of Northern Kentucky on Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium, defeating the Norse 12-2 in the finale. The Eagles took game one on Friday, 6-1, behind a career-high 12 strikeouts over eight innings from junior right-hander Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS), and used a walk-off single from redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) in the bottom of the 10th in game two for a 3-2 victory on Saturday.
Recording 18 extra-base hits to lead the team, junior utility man Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) also has a team-high .352 batting average while leading the squad with 39 runs scored, 38 RBI and six stolen bases. In the three games with NKU last weekend, Bednar hit .462 (6-for-13) and scored a team-high five times with two RBI.
Holding the best on-base percentage on the team at .413, senior catcher Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) is hitting .327 on the season with 29 runs scored and 17 RBI while supplying 17 sacrifice hits to rank in a share of fourth in the nation.
Connecting at a .316 clip, Beisner leads the team with five home runs and has driven in 28 RBI while scoring on 25 occasions. Last weekend against the Norse, Beisner batted .571 (8-for-14) with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI.
Upping his season average to .308 this season, junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) hit for a .778 average (7-for-9) with four walks, a pair of doubles and one triple over the trio of games with NKU, adding a team-high five RBI and scoring four times while slugging 1.222 and reaching base at a .786 clip. Sitting second on the team with 32 RBI and 29 runs scored, Dwyer has connected for 17 extra-base hits, including a team-best five triples, while holding a .403 on-base percentage and leading the team with a .487 slugging percentage.
FGCU plans to utilize junior left-hander Brandon Bixler (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) in the opening contest. Leading the Eagles with a .194 opponent batting average, Bixler holds a 3.79 ERA and sits second on the squad with 51 strikeouts through nine appearances, including eight starts. The Eagles have yet to name a starter for the second game of the day.
Picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference by the league coaches, the Panthers most recently dropped two of three at home against Louisiana-Lafayette (W 7-6, L 9-1, L 14-4) in conference action last weekend.
FIU is led at the plate by Edwin Rios’ .361 average and .449 on-base percentage with 29 runs scored and 49 RBI, while Zach Sweety leads the Panthers with 36 runs scored, driving in 16 RBI and holding a .353 batting average. With a team high of 40 RBI, Aramis Garcia his connected at a .351 rate with 30 runs scored, and Julius Gaines is also above the .300 mark at .316 on the season.
The Panthers have announced senior right-hander John Caballero (1-2, 4.62 ERA) in the first contest, followed by either freshman right-hander Alex Seibold (2-3, 4.75 ERA) or junior left-hander Ty Sullivan 3-2, 5.53 ERA) in the second contest.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Baseball), box scores, results and a recap of the pair of games will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.
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