FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU Baseball team looks to extend its lead in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings as they face the Campbell Camels in a three-game set this weekend in Buies Creek, N.C.
The Eagles (18-10, 9-3 A-Sun) enter the weekend ranked first in the Atlantic Sun standings after taking two of three from Mercer last week. Campbell comes into the weekend with a 4-8 A-Sun mark (17-12 overall) and are sitting in ninth place in the conference standings.
FGCU features two of the top pitchers in the conference in Chris Sale (Lakeland, Fla.) and Richie Erath (West Palm Beach, Fla.). The pair has allowed only 18 earned runs, racked up 99 strikeouts in 91.2 innings pitched, and have a combined record of 8-1. Sale, who picked up A-Sun and CollegeBaseballInsider.com Pitcher of the Week honors this week, leads the conference in ERA (1.26) and strikeouts (62). The junior left-hander averages 1.44 strikeouts per inning.
Through 28 games, FGCU holds a .346 team batting average with nine players hitting above .321. The team is led by A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Zach Maxfield’s (North Port, Fla.) .406 average with 29 RBI, 22 runs scored, and four home runs. Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) is second on the squad with a .381 average to go with his 26 RBI, 30 runs, and three home runs. Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.), FGCU’s leader in homers (7), and Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) have combined for 61 runs, 51 RBI, and are hitting .354 and .373, respectively. The Blue and Green have outscored their opponents 244-160 thus far and have a pitching staff that has struck out 236 batters while walking 96.
Campbell head coach Greg Goff has received some immediate help to his lineup with the addition of newcomers to the Campbell baseball program. Alan Denman has helped lead a strong Camel offensive attack while batting .424 (second in the A-Sun), with 23 RBI, nine doubles, and three home runs. The junior college transfer also has posted a .532 on base percentage and a .659 slugging percentage. Frank Zier has stabilized the pitching staff for the Camels in 2010. In his best outing of the 2010 campaign, Zier went the complete nine frames while giving up just one earned run and striking out 12 in Campbell’s 3-1 victory over Kennesaw State on March 19.
The Orange and Black are currently ranked second in the A-Sun in team batting average (.338), ERA (5.27), and fielding percentage (9.969).
Following the opening contest on Friday, April 9 (4:00 p.m.), the Eagles and Camels meet again on Saturday for an afternoon double-header with games scheduled for a 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. first pitch, respectively.
FGCU-Campbell Series Information
Streaming Video: Fighting Camel Zone
Series: FGCU Leads 6-0
Last Meeting: 3/7/09 FGCU 5, Campbell 2 in Fort Myers, Fla.