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Eagles welcome in Rutgers for weekend series

The FGCU baseball team will look to start a new winning streak this weekend after their seven game streak came to an end on Tuesday with a weekend series versus Rutgers.

The series will begin on Friday at 6:30 P.M with most likely Mario Leon on the mound Friday followed by Josh Dye on Saturday at 2 P.M. and Evan Lumbert on Sunday at 1 P.M as those pitchers come in with a 8-1 record.

The Scarlet Knights come in with a record of 9-6  and winners of four straight and their biggest win is over #9 Miami. FGCU is 13-3 and swept a three-game series with Rutgers last season in Fort Myers.

They have had a tough time on the mound this season as they have a team ERA of 5.23, but have been led by Eric Heatter with an ERA under 2.00. The Eagles will most likely see Heatter along with John O’Reilly and Harry Rutkowski. O’Reilly pitched last year and the Eagles scored six five be runs in five innings.

Offensively, Kyle Walker has been on fire as he is batting .515 on the season. They have four other guys batting over .300 this season, but have only hit five home runs in 15 games. They do like to run as they have stolen 21 of 27 bases with Jauwan Harris a perfect 7-7 on the season.

For FGCU, they continue to put up runs despite only scoring three versus USF on Tuesday and have got a huge lift from reigning ASUN Player of the Week Richie Garcia as he hitting .379. Both Marc Coffers and Gage Morey at the top of the order both come in with .382 and .383 batting averages respectively.

“I don’t know if their is a one-two combination in the country right now,” head coach Dave Tollett said. “They do such a good job and complement each other. They are doing a great job to get to our (middle of the order).”

Kohl Gilmore has gone through his first slump of the season the last four games after hitting seven home runs in the first nine games and .400 plus average, has dropped to .373. The lone two starts not hitting above .300 is slick fielding shortstop Christian Proffitt and left fielder Eli Lovell.

While the weekend starting pitching has been good, the bullpen has been a concern. Even closer Kenton Herring has struggled in parts and are still looking to solidify the back end.

“It’s one of the areas of concern,” Tollett added. “ We need to get our bullpen better. We need to be able to throw and miss when we need to throw and miss.”

Following this series, the Eagles will travel to FIU for a midweek series with them before returning home to face UAB for a weekend series next week.

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