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Eagles look to remain perfect vs. NJIT in weekend series

With conference play starting at Swanson Stadium, the (22) FGCU baseball team will host NJIT for a three-game series starting Friday night at 6:30.

The Eagles recently had a nine game win streak come to an end courtesy of the top team in the country and reigning National Champions, Florida Gators.

The Eagles currently have a 22-6 record compared to the Highlanders at 11-10 (1-2) this season. Mario Leon (4-1) will face Jared Kacso (1-2) on Friday. Josh Dye (5-1) is scheduled to throw on Saturday versus Sean Lubreski (2-1) on Saturday and the the pitchers on Sunday are listed as TBD.

Offensively, NJIT has had a pretty good season with three of their regular starters batting over .300. David Marchano leads the team at .384 and Jesse Uttendorfer is at .354. However, the Highlanders have hit for basically no power and come in with just five home runs on the season.

In comparison, Kohl Gilmore has eight home runs alone and both Richie Garcia and Eric Gonzalez each have four as the Eagles have 25 this season. Garica continued to lead the team in RBI’s, but is only three up of Gilmore, who is back on one of his hot streaks.

NJIt’s pitching has been average this season with with a team ERA of 4.39. While their starting pitching hasn’t been a problem, there bullpen has been a concern as seven relief pitchers come in with ERA’s over five. Jonny Maletesta though has been strong and leads the team with three saves.

FGCU has had strong starting pitching all season and have been getting some better pitching from the bullpen of late. Trey Vickery has cemented himself as a late inning guy for head coach Dave Tollett to go to and Sebastian Gruszecki and Justin Gill have also pitched well this season, but Kenton Herring seems to have returned to his form from last season as he continues to be the go-to guy late in games.

This will be the seventh time these programs have faced off since the Highlanders came into the ASUN in 2016 and in the previous six games, the Eagles have scored a combined 57 runs including 20 a season ago in 20-1 route last season in New Jersey.

After this series, the Eagles will play FAU on Tuesday before heading on the road to play Jacksonville over the weekend in the second conference series of the season.

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