FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU Baseball team looks to extend its lead in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings as they host the Belmont Bruins in a three-game set this weekend at Swanson Stadium.
FGCU-Belmont Series Information
Live Stats: FGCUAthletics.com
Series: Series tied 3-3
Last Meeting: 3/28/09 FGCU 1, Belmont 2 (5 innings) in Nashville, Tenn.
The Eagles (23-13, 14-4 A-Sun) enter the weekend ranked first in the Atlantic Sun standings after taking two of three games from Lipscomb last week. Belmont, who has lost seven of their last 10 contests, comes into the weekend with a 7-8 A-Sun mark and are sitting tied for 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 39 earned runs, racked up 123 strikeouts in 120.2 innings pitched, and have a combined record of 9-1. Sale leads the conference in ERA (2.48) and is second in strikeouts (78). The junior left-hander averages 1.34 strikeouts per inning.
Through 36 games, FGCU holds a .337 team batting average with eight players hitting above .318. The team is led by A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Zach Maxfield’s (North Port, Fla.) .403 average with 32 RBI, 31 runs scored, and five home runs. Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) is second on the squad with a .382 average to go with his 25 RBI, 37 runs, and 13 stolen bases. Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Luke Smierciak (Gainesville, Fla.), FGCU’s leaders in homers (7), have combined for 78 runs, 70 RBI, and are hitting .329 and .358, respectively. The Blue and Green have outscored their opponents 305-219 thus far and have a pitching staff that has an ERA of 5.38 and struck out 298 batters while walking 123.
The Bruins (19-20 overall), led by head coach David Jarvis, currently rank seventh in team batting average in the A-Sun. Dylan Craig leads Belmont’s offensive attack with his .394 bating average (tenth in the A-Sun). Nate Woods and Packy Elkins provide the power bats for the Bruins as they have hit 16 and 10 home runs, respectively.
Following the opening contest on Friday, April 23 (6:30 p.m. EST), the Eagles and Bruins meet again on Saturday for an afternoon matchup at 2 p.m. EST and again on Sunday at 11 a.m. EST. Prior to the game on Saturday, the Children’s Miracle Network will be in attendance and a child from the All Children’s Hospital will be throwing out the first pitch. Also, Sunday’s game is ‘Little League Day’ at Swanson Stadium, so all Little Leaguers get in free by wearing their uniform.
About All Children’s Hospital
Children are the sole focus of All Children’s Hospital and its new, million-square-foot St. Petersburg FL campus devoted to pediatric specialty care. The ten-story All Children’s Hospital and its adjacent Outpatient Care Center (dedicated in January 2010) replace an existing 42-year old facility just two blocks away.
All Children's Hospital is the only hospital on Florida’s West Coast totally devoted to children’s care - a leader in pediatric treatment, education, research and advocacy. As a regional referral center for children with some of the most challenging medical problems, All Children’s draws patients from throughout Florida, all 50 states and 36 foreign countries. The mission of this private, not-for-profit hospital is rooted in its beginnings in 1926 as Florida’s first Crippled Children’s Hospital for polio victims. All Children’s understands that it’s not enough to treat disease -- that true progress comes from teaching and research to cure disease. All Children’s shares its pediatric expertise through research & education affiliations with the University of South Florida (USF Health) as well as Moffitt Cancer Center, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.