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FGCU baseball earns highest ranking in program history

(EN Photo / Brad Young)

Following a two-game sweep of then-ranked No. 2 Florida and a 2-1 series victory over Ohio State, the FGCU men’s baseball team earned a No. 21 ranking, its highest national rank in program history.

Named the No. 21 team from five of six nationally recognized polls released on Monday, March 13, the Eagles are the fourth-highest ranked non-power five program according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game.

“I’m proud of the guys and how they’ve played so far this season,” FGCU head coach Dave Tollett said to FGCU Athletics. “We’ve played very well, pitched very well and have gotten some timely hitting. It’s been a good ride, but it doesn’t get any easier for us because of our schedule. ”

Going 10-2 this year, 14-3 on the season, against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams, the Eagles became the first non-conference opponent to sweep UNC Wilmington at its home ballpark since 1998.

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“The guys are excited about coming to the ballpark every day. It’s a loose group that’s fun to be around, and they believe they can win,” Tollett said. “They believe they can beat anyone.”

Leading the way on offense in the Eagles’ best start to the season in Division I program history, junior college transfer Julio Gonzalez is batting .368 on the season.

Gonzalez’s batting average ranks fourth in the ASUN.

The Bayamon, Puerto Rico, native leads the team and ranks third in the conference with 18 RBIs and has five doubles, one triple and one home run.

Helping FGCU lower its ERA from 5.33 a season ago to 3.53 through 17 games, Kutter Crawford is 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA.

The junior college transfer from Indian River State leads the ASUN in wins and ranks second in strikeouts with 38.

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