FORT MYERS, Fla. – In its fourth straight contest against a Big Ten foe, the FGCU baseball team will square off with Michigan on Wednesday evening. First pitch from Swanson Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
The Eagles come into the mid-week matchup holding a 3-4 record and are coming off a three-game series with Illinois last weekend. FGCU dropped the first two meetings with the Illini but rebounded with a 5-1 victory on Sunday to close the series. The Blue and Green opened the 2011 season with a four-game split with Central Michigan.
Seniors Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS), Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla./North Port HS/Pasco-Hernando CC) and Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair Secondary) set the tone for the Eagles at the plate, each batting above .300. Holding a .333 average, Alvarez’s five extra-base hits (four doubles, one triple) top the squad, with five RBI and five runs scored. Maxfield has driven in five RBI and has a team-best .360 average and .515 on-base percentage. At the leadoff spot, Wickens has scored a team-high eight times, hitting .357 with four RBI.
Michigan has a 0-6 mark entering the Wednesday night contest. The Wolverines have faced a tough schedule to open the season, dropping the opening three games at the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge to No. 21 Louisville (6-3), St. John’s (13-6) and No. 22 Connecticut (16-9). Last weekend, Michigan was swept in a three-game set with Rutgers (8-2, 9-4, 5-2).
FGCU currently holds a 2-4 all-time record against Big Ten opponents. In the teams’ first meeting, the Eagles fell to the Wolverines, 13-7, last year at Swanson Stadium in front of a crowd of 1032.
With a large crowd expected for Wednesday night’s game, the FGCU Athletic Department is blocking off 200 reserved seats for students with room for additional seats, if available. Tickets will be provided on a first-come, first-serve bases while supplies last, including a limited number of standing room only tickets. Students are encouraged to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to first pitch. All students get in free with Eagle ID card.
Current students attending the game will be eligible to win $700 if an FGCU player hits the Self Insured Plans (SIP) sign on the outfield wall in the air or hits a ball over the sign. FGCU will be running this “Diamond Dollars” promotion throughout the entire season. If the game finishes without a winner, the money rolls over to the next day continuing to increase the pot by $100 each day. Winners must have a valid FGCU student ID and be present to win.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (twitter.com/FGCUEagles), results and recaps from the Wednesday night contest will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.