Baseball set to host Stetson for weekend series
FORT MYERS, Florida. –The FGCU baseball team kicks off the second half of the ASUN Series this weekend as the Eagles host Stetson at Swanson Stadium. Earlier this season, the Greens and Blues swept the Hatters at DeLand in a record-breaking attacking weekend.
The Eagles are coming off a 5-1 win over FAU on Tuesday and currently sit 23-14 on aggregate. They are looking to bounce back in the ASUN game after losing two of three to North Florida last weekend to fall to 8-7 in the league.
Against the Chouettes on Tuesday, Daniel Bacher and Nick Love combined to allow only one unearned run while removing five and allowing only four hits. Joe Kinker kicked off the game with a two-run homer, his 13th of the season leading the team.
The Eagles are in the top 25 in several categories after nine weeks of play.
Doubles – 81, 18th
Shot Per Throw – 80, 4th
Hits – 390, 22nd
On Base Percentage – .414, 16th
Races – 324, 12th
Score – 8.8, 15th
Base on balls – Joe Kinker34, 17th
Doubles – Brian Ellis16, 10th
PCR – Brian Ellis17, 6th
PCR – Luis Rodriguez15, 14th
RAP/Game – Brian Ellis0.46, 14th
RAP/Game – Luis Rodriguez0.44, 16th
Shots – Alejandro Figueredo55, 22nd
Home runs – Joe Kinker13, 24
OBP- Brian Ellis.529, 5th
Races – ian farrow49, 9th
Races – Brian Ellis47, 12th
Races/game – ian farrow1h30, 15th
Moving forward is the key
The Eagles almost don’t need to play a full game to know who will win. In games where the Eagles lead after six innings, FGCU is 22-1, which drops to 20-0 when leading after seven and eight innings. Conversely, in games where they trail after six innings, the Eagles are 0-13.
D1 Baseball recognizes the Eagles
D1baseball.com released its first set of mid-season positional power rankings and several Eagles found themselves ranked.
alexander rodriguez is No. 29 among catchers, which is impressive considering he wasn’t supposed to catch until the start of the season. After a few seeker injuries, Rodriguez went behind the plate and struggled to give it up as he hits .376 with three home runs, 31 RBIs and 22 runs scored. He is also very difficult to knock out as he is among the leaders in the nation with 11.6 at-bats per strikeout.
Joe Kinker arrives as the 14th-ranked first baseman after ripping the ball cover off to start the season, slashing .311 / .479 / .633 with 7 HR and 25 RBI. He is also second in the nation in walks with 28 and seventh in runs with 34.
Alejandro Figueredo came in at 27th among third basemen and may have only improved his stock after going 4-on-4 against Miami, which took his batting average to an astonishing .436. He also had five home runs, five doubles, one triple and made 42 runs.
In the outfield, all three – ian farrow, Brian Ellisand Harrison Povey – were ranked in the top 100, one of five teams along with Tennessee, Florida, Virginia and Mercer, to place all three in the standings. Farrow ranks at No. 35, Ellis at No. 39 and Povey at No. 91 as they all hit above .375 and have combined for 20 homers, 94 RBIs and 102 runs scored.
Jason Woodward also claimed a spot in the power rankings as he ranks 83rd among starting pitchers, improving 61 spots from preseason rankings. He is currently 3-1 this season with a 1.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts while walking just 11 and holding opposing batters to a .177 batting average.
Farrow named ASUN Player of the Week
After a big week on the plate, ian farrow was named ASUN Baseball Player of the Week (March 21). He helped lead the Eagles to a 4-0 week against North Dakota State and Stetson as he hit .625 (10 for 16) with two homers, two doubles, six RBIs and 12 runs scored. He also walked five times and was hit by a pitch for .727 on-base percentage, which contributed to 1.852 OPS.
Ellis Wins ASUN Weekly Honors
For the first time in his career, redshirt-junior Brian Ellis (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) was named ASUN Player of the Week (February 28). Including the game against Minnesota, Ellis hit .556 (10 for 18) with four doubles, two homers, 12 RBIs and a 1.747 OPS.
Victor honored by ASUN
Second year Najer-Victor (Philadelphia, PA/East Ridge HS) was named ASUN Pitcher of the Week (February 21) after pitching 5.2 innings, allowing just two hits and an earned run while striking out 10 and not walking none against Cincinnati in the season opener series.. It was only Victor’s second career start and his 10 strikeouts set a new career high. It is also the most strikeouts by an Eagle since Mason Studstill 11 strikeouts on March 6, 2020 against Saint Joseph’s.
All-ASUN Pre-Season Selections
Red shirt-junior Brian Ellis (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) and junior Joe Kinker (North Port, Fla./Venice HS) returns to the Eagles after being named All-ASUN a season ago. They were also named to the All-ASUN Pre-Season Squad a few weeks ago.
Ellis, a 2021 All-ASUN First Team selection, is also on the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award Watch List, which considers performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Ellis hit .361 last season and also led ASUN with .489 on-base percentage while recording 31 RBI and scoring 45 runs. He was also named the 43rd outfielder in the nation by d1baseball.com.
Kinker was a second-team All-ASUN selection last season after leading the Greens and Blues with 13 homers. He also led the Eagles with 44 RBIs and 87 total goals while hitting .271.
Two more Eagles named to All-ASUN pre-season squad as transfers Luis Rodriguez (Guarenas, Venezuela/Miami Christian HS/Santa Fe College/Dyersburg State) and Bobby’s head (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange HS/Austin Peay) also moved up. Rodriguez comes from Santa Fe College where he hit .359 with 14 homers, 78 RBIs and 61 runs scored in two seasons while Head trades after playing four years at Austin Peay where he was an All-OVC First-Team selection in 2021 .
Stetson enters the weekend with an 18-18 record and a 5-10 mark in the ASUN game after falling to Florida 10-8 on Tuesday.
Cameron Hilll leads the Hatters with a .350 batting average while Brandon Hylton has a team-best five home runs. Stetson likes to wreak havoc on base paths as they stole 68 bases, led by 18 each from Hill and Nick DiPonzio.
On the mound, Cole Stallings leads the team with a 2.82 ERA while Nick Durgin has a 3.16 ERA. Jonathan Gonzalez paces the team with 51 strikeouts.
RHP Nick Durgin vs. RHP Jason Woodward
LHP Chris Gonzalez vs. RHP Tyler Shuck
RHP Cole Stallings vs. RHP Joey Mugavero
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FGCU Coach Dave Tollet currently holds an overall record of 659-399-3 (.623) and an ASUN record of 219-122 (.647). He is the only head coach in program history and led the program to its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2017. He is a five-time ASUN Coach of the Year and has guided the Green and Blue to five season championships regular ASUN tournament and an ASUN tournament championship. His team has been ranked multiple times nationally, including 9th in the nation in 2017, and has coached 58 all-conference picks, 33 draft picks, three current major leaguers, 13 current minor leaguers, four ASUN pitchers of the Year, four All-Americans, three ASUN Players of the Year, one Freshman National Player of the Year, one National Player of the Year and a seven-time MLB All-Star.
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ABOUT THE FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 89 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10 seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles have brought together 43 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (#20, 2022) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 25 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021) have each seen another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a Team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.