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No. 30 Eagles and No. 24 Shockers Set to Battle this Weekend
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU Baseball team hits the road for the first time this season as the defending A-Sun Champions battle No. 24 Wichita State in a three-game set this weekend in Wichita, Kan.
The Eagles are led by a pair of preseason All-Americans in left-handed starting pitcher Chris Sale and hard-hitting corner infielder Zach Maxfield. Sale was also voted the top pro prospect and All Star MVP of the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League. Additionally, Sale and Maxfield were honored by the conference coaches as preseason pitcher and player of the year, while the team was selected as the preseason favorite to win the A-Sun conference.
Through eight games this season, FGCU as a team has a batting average of .386, with eight regulars hitting .375 or higher, led by junior Austin Gaines’ (Dunedin, Fla.) .500 average. The Blue and Green have outscored their opponents 89-35 thus far and have a pitching staff that has an ERA of 3.00 with 84 strikeouts against 21 walks.
The Shockers, who are led by head coach Gene Stephenson, return seven starters and 20 lettermen from a team that went 30-27 in 2009, and advanced to its 27th NCAA Tournament after winning its 17th Valley Tournament title. Wichita State has outscored their opponents 63-18 and are currently 5-0 on the season.
Following the opening contest on Friday March 5 (4 p.m. EST), the Eagles and Shockers meet again on Saturday (March 6) and Sunday (March 7) with games scheduled for a 3 p.m. EST and 1 p.m. EST first pitch, respectively.
FGCU-Wichita State Information
Radio/Streaming Audio: Shocker Radio (http://www.shockerradio.com/)
Live Stats: www.GoShockers.com
Series: WSU Leads 1-0
Last Meeting: 2/21/09 WSU 6, FGCU 0 at Swanson Stadium
Probable Pitching Matchups
March 5 — Tim Kelley (RHP, 1-0, 3.38) vs. Chris Sale (LHP, 0-0, 0.00)
March 6 — Jordan Cooper (RHP, 1-0, 1.50) vs. Richie Erath (RHP, 2-0, 0.00)
March 7 — Charlie Lowell (LHP, 1-0, 6.75) vs. Patrick Nathanson (LHP, 2-0, 1.38)
Series History vs. Wichita State
Wichita State leads the overall series 1-0 with the only meeting coming Feb. 21, 2009 in Fort Myers, Fla. The Shockers won the game 6-0 behind the pitching of Charlie Lowell and Grant Muncrief.
Florida Teams in Kansas
When Florida Gulf Coast visits Wichita March 5-7, it will be only the second time that a team from Florida plays at Wichita State. The only other time was in 1984 when Miami played in Wichita May 17, 18 and 20 against the Shockers.
North Dakota drops to 0-2 on the season.
Mateychick went five innings allowing only four runners to reach base via a walk. The freshman righty struck out six. TJ McGreevy finished out the game for Mateychick, allowing two unearned runs on five hits over four innings of work to pick up his second save of the season.
Kevin Hall was the hitting star of the game for the Shockers as he went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBI and his first career home run. Nate Goro collected his second hit of the year, his first collegiate home run, a two-run blast over the left-center field fence.
Chris O'Brien got the start behind the plate for WSU, doubling to left in three trips to the plate and scoring once.
Third baseman Aaron Cook had two hits in four trips to the plate for UND with a run scored and an RBI.
WSU pushed a run across in the bottom of the first as Hall led off the inning with a bunt single and came around to score on an RBI single by Preston Springer.
Goro helped put the home team up by three with his two run blast in the bottom of the second, scoring O'Brien.
Fighting Sioux starting pitcher Sam Anderson settled down and held the Shockers scoreless for the next four innings to keep the visiting team close.
Anderson allowed four runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
The Shockers were able to cushion their lead in the home half of the seventh inning as Hall hit the second offering from reliever David Spies over the left-field fence to give WSU a 5-0 lead.
NDU scratched across two runs in the top half of the ninth on two WSU errors before McGreevy was able to get the final out on a grounder to McKeever.
Springer was 1-for-4 with an RBI for WSU.