FORT MYERS, Fla. – Fresh off an Atlantic Sun Conference opening series victory over UNF last weekend, the FGCU baseball team will head to Tampa, Fla. for a Tuesday night meeting with the BIG EAST’s USF beginning at 7 p.m. The contest is the first of a home-and-home series this season, with the Bulls coming to Swanson Stadium on March 22.
The Eagles hold a 6-5 (2-1 A-Sun) record on the year following their first road trip of the young season. Taking the field with UNF, the Blue and Green took the opening contest 8-4 on Friday, and went on to split the Saturday doubleheader with the Ospreys. UNF took game one of the double-dip convincingly, 10-3, but the Eagles won the series with a 5-4 victory in game two’s 13-inning affair.
FGCU holds a 4.63 team ERA with 104 strikeouts through the opening 11 contests. Collectively at the plate, the Blue and Green are batting .267 with 57 runs scored and 50 RBI.
Holding a 5-5 mark, USF comes into the game on a four-game winning streak, including a three-game sweep of FAMU last weekend. The Bulls opened the year by getting swept in a trio of games with No. 1 Florida and picked up one win in the three-game set with Elon. In its biggest win to date, USF defeated then- No. 24 Miami, 4-2, as part of the 2011 Florida Four at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 1.
The Bulls have a 2.56 team ERA with 82 strikeouts and 39 walks through 95 innings. USF is hitting .241 at the dish with 42 runs scored and 41 RBI in its 10 games.
In last year’s lone meeting between the schools in Tampa, the contest came down to the final out on a play at the plate. As the scoreboard read 10-8 in favor of the Eagles, the Bulls put runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. A deep shot to left field looked as if it would level the game, but a laser from leftfielder Alex Lozada gunned the tying run at the plate and the Eagles celebrated the 10-9 victory. FGCU boasts a 3-1 all-time record against USF.
With the season now in full swing, the FGCU baseball team has announced its newly launched Twitter page. Eagle fans can now follow the three-time defending Atlantic Sun champs on the social networking site @FGCUBaseball.
Also new this season, Eagle baseball fans will have direct access to the press box for all home games, and select away games, through the use of the Cover It Live platform. Followers will be able to chat with other fans, get clarification on plays and calls, ask questions and obtain team, player and opponent records and statistics while the game progresses, beginning with the Tuesday evening game at USF at 7 p.m. The Cover It Live coverage will begin approximately 30 minutes prior to the opening pitch.
Live stats, in-game twitter (@FGCUBaseball), Cover It Live chat, results and recaps from the contest will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.