Baseball Heads to the River City to Take on the Dolphins

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team continues its seven-game road swing this weekend as the Eagles head to Jacksonville to take on the Dolphins. First pitch on Friday and Saturday is set for 7 pm while Sunday is slated for a 1 pm start.

The Eagles are currently 26-15 after falling to FAU, 6-4, in Boca Raton on Tuesday. In the ASUN, the Green and Blue are 11-7 and are coming off a three-game sweep of Stetson this past weekend. Jacksonville is 20-17 overall and 7-11 in the ASUN after dropping two of three to Kennesaw State over the weekend.

Last Time Out
The Eagles struggled to get anything going offensively against FAU on Tuesday, managing just three hits. After falling behind 5-0 after one inning, FGCU scored three runs in the fifth, but stranded the bases loaded before a bigger inning could commence.

Weekend Recap
Against the Hatters this past weekend, FGCU took all three games with the highlight being Tyler Shuck’s one-hit complete-game shutout on Saturday, only the second time an Eagle has accomplished that after Chris Sale did so in 2010, also on April 23. For his effort, Shuck was named ASUN Pitcher of the Week, the second time an Eagle has taken home the honor this season and the second time in Shuck’s career. After that great pitching performance on Saturday, Alejandro Rodriguez and Alejandro Figueredo stole the show on Sunday as they combined for three home runs, nine hits, nine RBI, and seven runs scored in a 15-1 win.

National Leaders
The Eagles are in the top 25 in multiple categories after 10 weeks of play.

team
Doubles – 89, 21st
Hit-by-pitch – 86, 2nd
On-Base Percentage – .412, 19th
Runs – 356, 13th
Scoring – 8.7, 15th

Individual
Base on Balls – Joe Kinker37, 15th
doubles – Brian Ellis17, 17th
Games Started – Jason Woodward10, 24th
Games Started – Tyler Shuck10, 24th
HBP – Brian Ellis19, 6th
HBP – Luis Rodriguez15, 18th
HBP/Game – Brian Ellis0.46, 9th
HBP/Game – Luis Rodriguez0.44, 13th
Hits – Alejandro Figueredo64, 21st
Home Runs – Joe Kinker14, 24th
OBP – Brian Ellis.534, 4th
Runs – Brian Ellis53, 9th
Runs – Ian Farrow52, 12th
Runs – Joe Kinker49, 24th
Runs/games – Brian Ellis1.29, 14th
Runs/games – Ian Farrow1.27, 19th

Getting Ahead is Key
The Eagles almost don’t have to play a full game to figure out who is going to win. In games in which the Eagles are leading after six innings, FGCU is 25-1 which improves to 23-0 when leading after seven and eight innings. Conversely, in games they are trailing after six innings, the Eagles are 0-14.

D1 Baseball Recognizes Eagles
D1baseball.com released its first set of mid-season positional power rankings and multiple Eagles found themselves ranked.

Alejandro Rodriguez is #29 among catchers which is impressive considering he was not expected to catch before the season started. After a couple of injuries to catchers, Rodriguez went behind the plate and has been hard-pressed to give it up as he is hitting .376 with three home runs, 31 RBI, and 22 runs scored. He’s also really hard to strike out as he is among the nation’s leaders at 11.6 at-bats per strikeout.

Joe Kinker comes in as the 14th-ranked first baseman after he has been tearing the cover off the ball to begin 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 #27 among third basemen and may have only improved his stock after going 4-for-4 against Miami which raised his batting average to an astounding .436. He has also socked five home runs, five doubles, a triple, and driven in 42 runs.

In the outfield, all three – Ian Farrow, Brian Ellisand Harrison Povey – were ranked in the top 100, one of just five teams along with Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, and Mercer, to place all three in the rankings. Farrow clocks in at #35, Ellis at #39, and Povey at #91 as they are all hitting above .375 and have combined for 20 home runs, 94 RBI, and 102 runs scored.

Jason Woodward also claimed a spot on the power rankings as he comes in at #83 among starting pitchers, improving 61 spots in from the preseason rankings. He is currently 3-1 on the season with a 1.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts while walking just 11 and holding opposing hitters to a .177 batting average.

Farrow Named ASUN Player of the Week
After a big week at 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 home runs, two doubles, six RBI, and 12 runs scored. He also walked five times and was hit by a pitch for a .727 on-base percentage which contributed to an OPS of 1.852.

Ellis Picks Up 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 (Feb 28). Including the game against Minnesota, Ellis hit .556 (10-for-18) with four doubles , two home runs, 12 RBI and had an OPS of 1.747.

Victor Honored by ASUN
sophomore Nager Victor (Philadelphia, Pa./East Ridge HS) was named ASUN Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 21) after tossing 5.2 innings, giving up just two hits and one earned run while striking out 10 and walking none against Cincinnati in the season-opening series.. It was just the second start of Victor’s career and his 10 strikeouts sets a new career-high. It is also the most strikeouts by an Eagle since Mason Studstill struck out 11 on March 6, 2020 against Saint Joseph’s.

Preseason All-ASUN Selections
redshirt-junior Brian Ellis (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) and junior Joe Kinker (North Port, Fla./Venice HS) return to the Eagles after being named All-ASUN a season ago. They were both also named to the Preseason All-ASUN team a couple of weeks ago.

Ellis, a First-Team All-ASUN selection in 2021, is also on the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award Watch List, which takes into consideration performance on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. Ellis hit .361 last season and also led the ASUN with a .489 on-base percentage while collecting 31 RBI and scoring 45 runs. He was also named the 43rd-ranked outfielder in the country by d1baseball.com.

Kinker was a second-team All-ASUN selection last season after leading the Green and Blue with 13 home runs. He also led the Eagles with 44 RBI and 87 total bases while hitting .271.

Two other Eagles were named to the Preseason All-ASUN team as transfers Luis Rodriguez (Guarenas, Venezuela/Miami Christian HS/Santa Fe College/Dyersburg State) and Bobby Head (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange HS/Austin Peay) also earned spots. Rodriguez comes from Santa Fe College where he hit .359 with 14 home runs, 78 RBI, and 61 runs scored in two seasons while Head transfers in after playing four years at Austin Peay where he was an All-OVC First-Team selection in 2021 .

Scouting the Dolphins
Jacksonville is coming off a weekend in Kennesaw where they dropped two of three to the Owls. Overall, JU sits at 20-17 and 7-11 in the ASUN.

Jesus Pacheco leads the Dolphins with a .269 batting average while Christian Coipel has a team-high 10 home runs and 38 RBI. No one else on the team has more than three home runs or 17 RBI. One are the Dolphins thrive is on the basepaths as they are 27th in the country with 72 stolen bases.

On the mound, the Dolphins have a formidable weekend rotation led by Mason Adams who has a 4.35 ERA and is 11th in the country with 87 strikeouts in just 62.0 innings. At the end of games, the Dolphins have one of the best closers in the country in Tyler Vogel. The hard-throwing right-hander has a 1.08 ERA, 31 strikeouts, and eight saves and is on the radar of MLB clubs.

Probable Pitchers
RHP Jason Woodward (5-3, 3.60 ERA, 53 W) etc. RHP Mason Adams (4-2, 4.35 ERA, 87 W)
RHP Tyler Shuck (5-3, 3.45 ERA, 49 W) etc. RHP Michael Darrell-Hicks (1-4, 4.91 ERA, 47 W)
RHP Joey Mugavero (3-1, 2.43 ERA, 34 W) etc. RHP Christian Graham (2-2, 4.09 ERA, 32 W)

For complete coverage of FGCU baseball, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_Baseball and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to have news on FGCU baseball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

COACH TOLLETT
FGCU coach Dave Tollett currently owns a 662-400-3 overall record (.624) and a 222-122 (.645) record in the ASUN. He is the only head coach in the program’s 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 ASUN Regular Season Championships and one ASUN Tournament Championship. His team has been ranked nationally on several occasions, including as high as No. 9 in the country in 2017, and has coached 58 all-conference selections, 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 National Freshman Player of the Year, one National Player of the Year and one seven-time MLB All-Star.

EAGLE CAMPAIGN
IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the EAGLE Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

#FEEDFGCU
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

ABOUT FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 92 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10 seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 44 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 25 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021) each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

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