No. 23 @FGCU_Baseball Preps for Mid-Week Meeting at FAU
Monday, February 25, 2013 | by Caleb Baker
Soph. RHP Zack Tillery will make his second start of the season at FAU (Photo by J. Meric)
Soph. RHP Zack Tillery will make his second start of the season at FAU (Photo by J. Meric)
#23 FGCU (5-2)
Florida Atlantic (5-3)
2/26/2013 | Boca Raton, FL | Attendance: 382
Florida Atlantic20000511X9121
Win: Alexander (1-0) 2.233223
Loss: TILLERY (0-1) 5.287223
BEDNAR (FGCU) 533000
Pittman (FAU) 423100

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off a series sweep at No. 13 Florida last weekend, the No. 23 FGCU baseball team is set to return to action on Tuesday evening as it travels to Boca Raton, Fla. for a mid-week contest with FAU beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Winners of four straight, the Eagles’ improved to 5-1 on the young season after the trio of victories in Gainesville. The Sunday triumph clinched the first three-game sweep of the Gators on their home turf since Miami (Feb. 28-Mar. 1) did so during the 2009 campaign.

The Green and Blue climbed into the national rankings following the weekend set in Gainesville. FGCU was slotted as high as No. 23 in the latest addition of the Baseball America. In addition to Baseball America, the Green and Blue were slotted No. 25 in both Collegiate Baseball’s and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Top 30 polls, while also No. 27 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Top 30 ranks. FGCU was also named among the teams to watch in the latest edition of the Perfect Game poll, and slotted No. 31 in the RPI at www.WarrenNolan.com.  

FGCU intends to open the contest with sophomore right-hander Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) (0-0, 9.00 ERA) on the mound. It will mark the second start of the year for the Naples, Fla. product, after allowing three earned runs on five hits and three walks while recording one strikeout in a no-decision against Notre Dame (Feb. 16) at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Sarasota, Fla.

Recently named the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week for his effort in the three-game sweep at No. 13 UF, redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Port Charlotte HS/Auburn) has led the offensive charge this season, hitting .520 with a 1.120 slugging percentage, adding 11 RBI, six runs scored, and four home runs with a .571 on-base percentage. The Punta Gorda, Fla. product leads the A-Sun with 13 hits, while ranking among the league leaders in RBI (T-3rd, 11), home runs (2nd, 4) and total bases (2nd, 28).

Senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) is hitting .321 on the year with three RBI and five runs scored, while junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) holds a .308 mark at the plate with a .615 slugging percentage, contributing five runs scored and seven RBI.

Picked to repeat its Sun Belt Conference title this year in the league’s preseason poll, the Owls enter the contest with a 4-3 record, coming off a 1-2 weekend against Alabama in Boca Raton, Fla. FAU opened the season with a home series sweep of Cincinnati before dropping a mid-week meeting with then No. 20 Miami last Wednesday.

The Owls have been led offensively by sophomore infielder Mitch Morales’ .400 average (10-for-25), adding two runs scored and two RBI. Starting every game, senior Corey Keller holds a .345 mark at the plate with three RBI and four runs scored. Also seeing regular action, junior outfielder Geoff Jimenez (.333) and junior catcher Levi Meyer (.313) are above the .300 mark.

FAU will use freshman southpaw Brandon Rhodes (0-0, 2.45 ERA) to open the game. In a 5.1 inning no-decision against then-No. 20 Miami, Rhodes allowed two runs on just six hits, retiring four by strikeout.

The all-time series between the two programs sits in favor of the Eagles, 7-2. Last season, the Eagles won the lone meeting against then-No. 28 FAU, 6-5, at Swanson Stadium, marking the third of four-straight wins over nationally-ranked foes for the Green and Blue.

Probable Starters
Tuesday, Feb. 26 – 6:30 p.m.
FGCU – RHP Zack Tillery, Soph. (0-0, 9.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 1 K, 3 BB, .500 B/Avg.)
FAU – LHP Brandon Rhodes, Fr. (0-0, 2.45 ERA, 7.1 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, .231 B/Avg.)

Fans can get updates and information on FGCU baseball all season long by visiting www.FGCUATHLETICS.com or by following the team on twitter @FGCU_Baseball.