FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU Baseball team looks to extend its lead in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings as they face the Lipscomb Bisons in a three-game set this weekend in Nashville, Tenn.
The Eagles (21-11, 12-3 A-Sun) enter the weekend ranked first in the Atlantic Sun standings after taking three games from Campbell last week. Lipscomb, who has lost four of their last six contests, comes into the weekend with a 4-5 A-Sun mark and are sitting in sixth 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 24 earned runs, racked up 110 strikeouts in 107.2 innings pitched, and have a combined record of 9-1. Sale leads the conference in ERA (1.41) and is second in strikeouts (67). The junior left-hander averages 1.31 strikeouts per inning.
Through 32 games, FGCU holds a .341 team batting average with eight players hitting above .331. The team is led by A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Zach Maxfield’s (North Port, Fla.) .405 average with 31 RBI, 27 runs scored, and five home runs. Luke Smierciak (Gainesville, Fla.) is second on the squad with a .370 average to go with his 29 RBI, 35 runs, and five homers. Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.), FGCU’s leader in homers (7), and Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) have combined for 70 runs, 64 RBI, and are hitting .331 and .363, respectively. The Blue and Green have outscored their opponents 273-187 thus far and have a pitching staff that has an ERA of 5.12 and struck out 262 batters while walking 105.
The Bisons (12-22 overall), led by head coach Jeff Forehand, currently rank tenth in team batting average in the A-Sun. Lee Wilson leads Lipscomb’s offensive attack with his .381 bating average (tenth in the A-Sun), 21 RBI, five doubles, and one home run. The freshman has also posted a .467 on base percentage and a .469 slugging percentage. Senior Josh Smith is the ace of the Lipscomb pitching staff this season. Smith ranks fourth in the nation in strikeouts (70) and has a 6-1 record with a 2.98 ERA. Smith has gone the distance in three games during the 2010 campaign and has fanned 15 batters in a pair of contests this season (3/26 vs. ETSU and 4/2 vs. Illinois State).
Following the opening contest on Friday, April 16 (7:00 p.m. EST), the Eagles and Bisons meet again on Saturday for an afternoon matchup at 2 p.m. EST and again on Sunday at 1p.m. EST.
FGCU-Lipscomb Series Information
Streaming Video: A-Sun.TV
Live Stats: LipscombSports.com
Series: FGCU Leads 4-2
Last Meeting: 4/19/09 FGCU 10, Lipscomb 9 (10 innings) in Fort Myers, Fla.