Florida Gulf Coast
3/20/2012 | Lubbock, TX | Attendance: 2368
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Florida Gulf Coast
3/21/2012 | Lubbock, TX | Attendance: 2591
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off its first Atlantic Sun series victory last weekend, the FGCU baseball team returns to the diamond with a trip to Lubbock, Texas for a two-game mid-week series with Big 12 foe Texas Tech on March 20-21, beginning at 7 p.m. on both days.
The Eagles make the trip across the gulf with an 8-11 (2-1 A-Sun) overall record. FGCU took the A-Sun series opener with North Florida on Friday, 2-0, behind a complete-game shutout from sophomore Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS), a performance which earned A-Sun Pitcher of the Week honors. The Eagles followed with a 7-4 victory on Saturday, before falling to the Ospreys 10-4 in the Sunday finale.
FGCU is led at the plate by senior switch-hitter Ryan Gebhart’s (Waco, Texas/Midway HS/Missouri) .304 average with seven RBI, while leading the team with 13 runs scored and seven doubles. Gebhart is also 4-for-5 in his stolen base attempts which leads the squad. Sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) has also scored 13 times this season, driving in 10 RBI and holding a .280 average at the plate. With a team-high three home runs, sophomore Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) leads the team with nine extra-base hits, hitting .255. Additionally, sophomore Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) has driven in 10 RBI, connected for a pair of home runs, three doubles and one triple, while hitting .271 at the dish.
The Eagles have yet to determine a starter for the Tuesday evening contest, with indications leaning towards junior right-hander Danny Patrick (Jupiter, Fla. Jupiter HS/Pepperdine/Palm Beach State College). It would mark the first start for Patrick at FGCU. Sophomore lefty Brandon Bixler (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) is expected to start the Wednesday night game for the Green and Blue. Through four starts this season, Bixler holds a 2-2 record with a 3.32 ERA, recording a team-high 25 strikeouts and allowing only seven hits in 21.2 innings.
Ranked No. 27 in the country entering last weekend, Texas Tech (12-8, 0-3 Big 12) dropped a three-game series at Baylor to move out of the rankings. The Red Raiders opened the season by winning eight of their first nine games and currently own a 10-1 record at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. Texas Tech has beaten the likes of St. John’s (4-1, 5-2), Northern Illinois (8-5, 10-4, 3-2), Houston (10-4) and No. 10 Arizona State (8-4).
Texas Tech has three players hitting over .310 this season, with Scott LeJeune leading the way with a .370 average and 16 RBI. Tim Proudfoot is hitting .333 with 11 extra-base hits, 19 RBI and 19 runs scored, while Barrett Barnes holds a .329 mark with a team-best four home runs and a team-high 22 RBI. The Red Raiders intend to utilize David Paiz (1-0, 0.75 ERA) in the Tuesday evening contest, and have yet to determine the starter for the series finale on Wednesday.
The mid-week series will mark the first time the two schools have met one another.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates, results and recaps of all FGCU events will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.