FORT MYERS, Fla. – After three straight weekends on the road, the FGCU baseball team (16-10, 4-2 ASUN) returns to Swanson Stadium April 9-11 to defeat ASUN opponents Jacksonville (7-18, 0-6 ASUN ) align. The first place in the series is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m. The second game follows on Saturday at 2 p.m. The teams will conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. with a series finale.
All three games are open to around 500 fans, all of whom must remain masked and socially distant. For those unable to attend, the action will be streamed on YouTube Live.
This weekend marks the first time in two seasons that the teams will compete against each other as the ASUN 2020 conference has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, Jacksonville was one of three league opponents to sweep the Eagles in the nest. In the course of the three games, the FGCU prevailed 17: 3 against the visiting Dolphins.
The Eagles took their first ASUN Series win of the year after beating the UNF in Jacksonville over the weekend. The FGCU scored two wins in one run in their first two games before breaking a 5-0 deficit in the third game.
student in the first year Ian Farrow (Merritt Island, Fla./Merritt Island HS) led the team with a .417 clip on the plate and a Team Best Six RBI. The rookie got off to a hot start in the conference game and scored .478 against ASUN opponents. In the six league games he has played so far, he has only hit three times and scored six extra-base hits. The outfielder is currently in an 11-game phase of hitting the base and has played six multi-hit games.
The series produced four different arms that allowed zero-deserved runs. Both in their sophomore year Tyler Tipton (Tampa, Fla./Gaither HS / South Florida State) and Junior Joey Mugavero (Estero, Fla./Estero HS / Florida Southwestern State) led the effort with each arm throwing 3.1 innings. Both Tipton and Mugavero took wins during the series and together scored six goals. Mugavero did not meet the ospreys during his time on the hill, while Tipton scattered a couple.
Senior Marc Coffers (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) is only four hits away from classmate Richie Garcia (Davie, Fla./West Broward HS) at the 200 Hits Club. Coffers will be the 16th player in program history to beat the mark, while Garcia did so in the USF season opener (February 20).
In the box
Averaging 0.381 for the season, Garcia is at the top of the ASUN statistical rankings and ranks 89th in the nation. He is included in the top 5 of the league by Senior Cameron Krzeminski (Coral Springs, Fla./St. Thomas von Aquin HS) slitting .351 (third). As a team, the Eagles’ batting average of .279 at the conference ranks second behind Kennesaw State’s .281 and ranks 68th among programs in the country.
Senior Mason Studstill’s (Titusville, Florida / Rockledge HS / Miami / Eastern Florida State) 43 strikes this season accelerate the Green & Blue staff and check in in third place on the ASUN rankings. The Friday starter also checks in fifth in the ERA League with 2.70. He is eight punchouts away from surpassing former Eagle and current Major Leaguer Richard Bleier (2006-08) for the tenth time in career history.
The long ball
Sophomore Joe Kinker (North Port, Fla./Venice HS) also stands out on the stats as his six home races accelerate the Eagles and take the ASUN lead with Bellarmine’s Chris Gambert. The utility player set the program’s single-game record last week when he returned home twice during a game against FAU during the week. He is one of nine Eagles to knock one out of the park this season.
Scouting the Dolphins
Jacksonville will make the trip to Fort Myers after taking an 8-7 street win in Florida No. 17 on Tuesday night. Redshirt junior Chris Coipel provided the team with three home runs and six RBI. The win was the Dolphins’ second against a senior opponent in 2021 when the team beat Florida No. 5 10-9 on March 12.
The Dolphins will be looking for their first win on their conference roster this weekend after being swept by both UNF and Stetson. Jacksonville was surpassed in this route with 38:20 points, with 36 runs of the opposing teams being earned.
Redshirt senior Tyler Santana, who the Eagles will likely face on Friday night, walks up and down and ranks 24th in the nation with his 54 strikers. The right-handed player threw a full game this year (March 19 against UCF) and has a 3-4 record.
After a slow start to the year, the team picked up the pace on the offensive and scored double-digit goals in four of the last seven games. The Dolphins’ batting average of 0.239 is the second lowest in the ASUN’s just North Alabama’s .195. Leading the rackets with a .299 clip on the plate, freshman Jackson Graksby is one of four players to have started every game he’s appeared in.
Something to see
Stripes: During Redshirt sophomore Brian Ellis (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) had the longest distance of the year with 19 games in a row. Both Krzeminski and Farrow are currently in 11 games.
The backend: senior Hunter McGarry (Bradenton, Fla. / Radenton Christian School / State College of Florida-Manatee) is three saves away from former Eagle Sterling Koerner’s (2014-17) tie to the program’s career record of 19 UNF pushed him to a total of four in 2021.
The Home Advantage: This weekend’s games are the last of the Eagles in the nest before a two-week road stint in which the team makes two midweek trips to Miami and a round robin weekend in Stetson.
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South Division Ranking
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North Division Ranking
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Monday April 5th
# 3 Ole Miss 20, North Alabama 6
Tuesday April 6th
Murray State 12, Bellarmine 8
Belmont 5, Lipscomb 4 (DH Game One)
Lipscomb 10, Belmont 9 (DH Game Two)
Jacksonville 8, No. 17 Florida State 7
No. 9 Florida 7, Stetson 6
Alabama State 10, North Alabama 3
Wednesday April 7th
Wake Forest at Liberty – 4 p.m.
Friday April 9th - Sunday April 11th
Bellarmine in northern Illinois
Lipscomb at Liberty
Kennesaw State, North Alabama
Jacksonville at FGCU
UNF in Stetson
Bellarmine in southern Illinois
FGCU trainer Dave Tollett currently has a 625-374-3 total record (.625) and a 203-111 record (.646) in the ASUN. He is the only head coach in program history and led the program on its first trip to the NCAA tournament in 2017. He is five-time ASUN Coach of the Year and has led the Greens and Blues to five ASUN regular season championships and one ASUN tournament championship. His team has been ranked nationally several times, including number 9 in the country in 2017, and has 54 selections for all conferences, 33 draft picks, three current major leaguers, 13 current minor leaguers, and four ASUN pitchers from trained the year, four all -Americans, three ASUN Player of the Year, one National Freshman Player of the Year, one National Player of the Year, and a seven-time MLB All-Star.
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FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April for the benefit of the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), the FGCU Athletics charity. For more information, including how you can contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry. Use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to raise awareness.
The FGCU teams have come together to win an incredible 85 regular conference and tournament titles in just 13 seasons in Division I. Additionally, in just nine seasons after the season, the Eagles have competed in 40 teams or individuals in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have achieved a national top 25 ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) as well as men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) than three of the youngest. In 2016-17, the Greens and Blues achieved the best sixth place in the department in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and the top 100 nationwide in front of several Power 5 and FBS institutes. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN, and Florida State’s top seven teams received the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. The FGCU achieved a combined classroom record of 3.50 GPA in the fall semester 2020 and exceeded the general population of university students for 23 consecutive semesters. Another milestone was reached in the fall semesters 2019, spring 2020, and fall 2020, as all 15 programs achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also achieved an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – as one of two runners-up for the first ever NACDA Community Service Award, presented by the Fiesta Bowl.