FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sitting a game and a half out of the sixth and final Atlantic Sun Tournament spot with six games remaining, the FGCU baseball team will look to begin its push towards the postseason this weekend when it heads to Belmont for a critical three-game series beginning on Friday night.
The Eagles (22-27) own an 11-13 mark in the A-Sun, while the Bruins (28-21) are 14-10 and sit in third place in the standings. This weekend’s series is the start of a streak of six league games over a nine-day span for the Blue and Green. FGCU will host another Nashville program in Lipscomb in the final series of the regular season starting on Thursday, May 19.
First pitch of Friday night’s game is slated for 7 p.m. ET with live stats available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.
The FGCU offense, which has 22 games with double figure hits, is led by senior Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla./North Port HS/Pasco-Hernando CC) who ranks in the top five in the A-Sun in seven different categories. His .391 batting average ranks second in the conference while his power numbers of 19 doubles, 10 home runs and 54 RBI are also among the leaders.
Senior Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) is just two hits shy of Josh Upchurch’s program record of 311 career hits. Alvarez is hitting above .300 for the fourth straight season with a .323 clip to go along with an A-Sun leading 39 walks.
Belmont set a NCAA record with 19 runs in the first inning during Thursday’s game one win over UT-Martin. The Bruins plated an astonishing 14 runs before the first out was recorded en route to a 24-3 win in the opener.
The Bruins have won nine of their last 10 A-Sun contests after starting 5-9. Belmont’s three probable starters of Chase Brookshire (LHP), Matt Hamann (RHP) and Josh Davis (RHP) have a combined record of 15-3. As a team, the Bruins are hitting .302.
FGCU holds a 6-3 edge in the all-time series, taking two of the three series from the Bruins over the last three seasons. Last year, the Eagles swept Belmont, but the Bruins took two of three in Nashville in 2009.