Appearing in five of six nationally-recognized polls released Monday, the No. 21-ranked FGCU baseball team (14-3, 2-0 vs. Top 25) – as ranked by the Baseball America Poll – is off to its best start in Division I program history, beating then No. 2 Florida in back-to-back games last week.
The Eagles, who saw their 10-game winning streak snapped Sunday by defending 2016 Big Ten Tournament Champion Ohio State, 5-4, still won the series 2-1 against the visiting Buckeyes.
“I’m proud of the guys and how they’ve played so far this season,” said FGCU head coach Dave Tollett, who recently earned his 500th win in a sweep at UNC Wilmington; his Eagle squad becoming the first team to accomplish that feat at the Seahawks’ ballpark dating back to 1998.
And after 12-straight games against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams to open the season thus far, in which FGCU has gone 10-2 overall during that brutal stretch, the Eagles will go up against in-state foe, No. 1 Florida State (13-3) next at Fort Myers’ JetBlue Park Wednesday, March 15.
“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,” he noted. “The guys are excited about coming to the ballpark every day. They believe they can beat anyone.”
FGCU is the fourth-highest ranked non-Power Five program currently according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game, and the Eagles were the first team left out of the USA Today Coaches Poll with 65 points, coming up just three points short of No. 25 Missouri.
Wednesday’s game against the Seminoles, which is slated for 6:30 p.m., will mark the first time in program history FSU will travel to Fort Myers – and the first time FGCU hosts the No. 1 team.
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