JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After overcoming Florida A&M in a mid-week shootout, the Jacksonville University baseball team welcomes a top ASUN Conference rival to the River City for a weekend series. The Dolphins (22-12, 4-2 ASUN) will look to take the conference's top spot from Florida Gulf Coast (24-7, 2-1 ASUN) at John Sessions Stadium. First pitch for Friday's contest will commence at 2:00 p.m. Saturday's game is slated for 7:00 p.m, while Sunday's series finale will start at 1:00 p.m.
Friday's game continues Dollar Days at John Sessions Stadium where fans can receive admission and select concessions items for just a buck. Saturday's contest is sponsored by Jackson Commons, and will feature a gift card raffle. It is also Vs. Cancer Recognition Night. Sunday's affair is another Kid's Day at the ballpark, where children 12 and under get free admission and food, the opportunity to run the bases after the game, and more!
JU vs. FGCU: FGCU leads, 19-14
JU vs. FGCU at JU: FGCU leads, 8-7
JU vs. FGCU at FGCU: FGCU leads, 8-7
JU vs. FGCU at Neutral: FGCU leads, 3-0
Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: RHP Chris Gau (5-2, 2.38 ERA) vs. RHP Mario Leon (5-1, 2.33 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Tyler Santana (5-1, 3.02 ERA) vs. LHP Josh Dye (5-1 2.09 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Spencer Stockton (3-4, 5.17 ERA) vs. TBD
The Dolphins wrapped up a five-game road trip with a lengthy road win over Florida A&M Wednesday evening. The 11-10 decision, which clocked in at 4:34 minutes, was the 'Phins longest nine-inning affair in seven seasons, and featured 27 combined hits and 21 total runs. JU has now won six straight over FAMU, sweeping the Rattlers in the 2018 home-and-home.
- Following the series win over Lipscomb, the Dolphins have started conference play 4-2 or better and have won their first two ASUN series in each of the last three seasons.
- JU has now won seven of its first eight series' played this season, the most since winning eight of the first nine in 2011.
- The 'Phins drew a combined 24 walks over the weekend, the team's most in a weekend series since taking 25 on Feb. 24-26, 2017 vs. Georgia State. JU surged from 87th to 58th nationally in the statistic, and from fourth to first in the ASUN. With 32 free passes to his name this season, Sam Armstrong is tops in the conference and among the top-10 in collegiate baseball. The senior also used last weekend to move into the top-ten in program history in the mark. The team kept up the trend in its mid-week contest, drawing 10 more free passes.
- Rookie reliever Chris Mauloni has emerged as the number to call out of the pen in save situations this season. The River City product picked up his 13th save of the season in Wednesday's win, setting the JU single-season record. Mauloni is tied for the most in the nation, and leads all freshman.
- The Dolphins have launched an extra-base hit in 24 straight games, accumulating a 16-8 record during that time.
- Entering this weekend's play, JU has emerged victorious in its first five home series' for the first time since 1989, when they finished 42-22 overall, advancing to an NCAA Regional.
- Entering its 19th season of ASUN Conference play, Jacksonville continues its quest to win consecutive regular-season titles for the first time since 1989-91. The team finished with a 16-5 mark in league play last season, its best showing since amounting 19 conference wins in 2011.
Scouting The Eagles
- Ranked #27 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll released on April 9, FGCU has won 11 of its last 13 games entering the weekend. The Eagles were slated to take on Florida Atlantic in a mid-week contest on Tuesday, but inclement weather postponed the scheduled affair.
- The defending ASUN Tournament champions, the Eagles were successful in their first conference series of 2018, taking two of three against
- NJIT at home last weekend. After holding the Highlanders to just a pair of runs through the first two games, FGCU allowed the visitors to plate a run in each of the final three innings to negate the Eagles' hopes for a sweep.
- Led by sophomore infielder Richie Garcia, Florida Gulf Coast currently boasts three players in the top 10 in batting average in the ASUN. Garcia is third, batting .362, and leads the league in doubles (13) and RBI (37). Sophomore C/DH Alex Brait is hitting .352 on the year, while junior 2B Eric Gonzalez is right behind him at .347. The three join a group of eight Eagle hitters who are hitting about the .300 mark this season, all of whom have played in 24 or more contests.
- Jacksonville will look for revenge against their Fort Myers-based conference rivals, who won both elimination games in the 2017 ASUN Championship to advance to their first-ever NCAA Regional a season ago. After forcing a winner-take all match FGCU took the Dolphins to extra-innings pulling out a 4-3 victory to take the title in DeLand.