FGCU Continues Six-Game Road Trip with A-Sun Series Against USC Upstate
Thursday, March 29, 2012 | by Caleb Baker (@calebaker)
Photo by Jerry Smith
Photo by Jerry Smith
Florida Gulf Coast (9-17, 3-4 A-Sun)
USC Upstate (20-6, 6-1 A-Sun)
3/30/2012 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Attendance: 411
Florida Gulf Coast000000000051
USC Upstate00100050X6110
Win: ROSEBOOM (5-0) 7.050016
Loss: KNAPP (4-2) 6.185412
DWYER (FGCU) 402000
MILLER (UPST) 422000

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Continuing its six-game road trip this weekend in Spartanburg, S.C., the FGCU baseball team is set to open a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series with USC Upstate on Friday evening. The Eagles and Spartans begin with a 6 p.m. first pitch and follow with 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. starts on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The Eagles head into the weekend set with a 9-16 overall record which includes a 3-3 mark in league play. FGCU owns a 77-37 record in league action, and leads the all-team series with USC Upstate, 8-4, with a 4-2 mark on the road.

FGCU has announced the starters to be sophomore right-hander Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS) on Friday, senior right-hander Jason Forjet (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Nova HS) on Saturday, and have yet to determine the starter on Sunday.

With his second straight complete-game shutout in league action on Friday evening in a 4-0 victory over ETSU, Knapp picked up his second consecutive A-Sun Pitcher of the Week honor. Knapp became the first A-Sun pitcher to repeat the weekly honor since former Eagle and current White Sox pitcher Chris Sale received the award three consecutive times during the 2010 season. Extending his scoreless innings streak to 19.2 innings, Knapp recorded his second straight complete-game shutout over the Bucs, a performance which featured a career-high eight strikeouts, no walks and six hits over the 120-pitch outing. Having faced three BCS opponents (No. 12 Miami, Boston College, No. 1 Florida) earlier this season, Knapp owns a 4-1 record with an A-Sun leading 1.30 ERA, 25 strikeouts and just four walks in a team-high 41.2 innings pitched.

Finding little offensive support in the contests in which he’s started, Forjet brings an 0-2 record into Sunday, with four no-decisions through his team-high six starts. While lowering his ERA to 2.95 last Sunday against ETSU, the Pembroke Pines, Fla. product scattered seven hits, giving up just one earned run with three strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. This season, Forjet has totaled 28 punch outs, and issued just nine walks in 36.2 innings, while holding opponents to a .234 batting average.

Over the last ten games, sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) has been leading the Eagles at the plate with a .293 average, scoring five runs and bringing in three RBI. Redshirt freshman Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) is hitting .286 in the last 10 contests, with a pair of home runs, one double, one triple, four RBI and five runs scored. Additionally, sophomore Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) has connected for three home runs and driven in 13 RBI over the 10 games.

For the season, Bednar is batting .280 to lead the team adding a team-best 17 runs scored, while Valencia owns team highs of 14 extra-base hits, five home runs, 24 RBI, 43 total bases and a .558 slugging percentage.

USC Upstate heads into the weekend with a league-high 19 wins (19-6) including a 5-1 A-Sun mark to currently sit in first place. Leading the team offensively is Luke Weber’s .359 average with 16 runs scored and a team-best 24 RBI. Additionally, Tyler Cook and Gaither Bumgardner are batting .333 and .330, respectively, while two other hitters are at or above the .300 mark. The Spartans will use a rotation of sophomore left-hander David Roseboom (4-0, 3.19 ERA) on Friday, junior lefty Scott DeCecco (4-0, 2.70 ERA) on Saturday and junior right-hander Brandon Lee (3-2, 2.43 ERA) in Sunday’s finale.

Probable Starters
Friday, March 30 – 6 p.m.
FGCU – RHP Ricky Knapp, So. (4-1, 1.30 ERA, 41.2 IP, 25 SO, 4 BB, .190 B/Avg.)
UPSTATE – LHP David Roseboom, So. (4-0, 3.19 ERA, 31.0 IP, 24 SO, 8 BB, .208 B/Avg.)

Saturday, March 31 – 2 p.m.
FGCU – RHP Jason Forjet, Sr. (0-2, 2.95 ERA, 36.2 IP, 28 SO, 9 BB, .234 B/Avg.)
UPSTATE – LHP Scott DeCecco, Jr. (4-0, 2.70 ERA, 33.1 IP, 22 SO, 9 BB, .212 B/Avg.)

Sunday, April 1 – 1 p.m.
UPSTATE – RHP Brandon Lee, Jr. (3-2, 2.43 ERA, 37.0 IP, 26 SO, 8 BB, .250 B/Avg.)

Video of Sunday’s series finale will be available at www.ASun.tv. Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUBaseball), results and recaps from all FGCU events are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.