LakePoint, Ga. - The ASUN Conference Baseball season is heating up as the calendar turns to May with teams looking to move up the standings and secure postseason berths. Stetson vaulted itself into the top-25 in several polls as the Hatters are riding a seven-game win streak. They head to Fort Myers, Fla. looking to extend that. NJIT, USC Upstate and Lipscomb are looking to get some wins at the bottom of the standings.
The Highlanders are heading to Kennesaw State, where the Owls have been formidable this season. Kennesaw State could clinch a berth in the ASUN Baseball Championship with some positive results this weekend. USC Upstate welcomes Jacksonville to Harley Park, hoping to get back on the winning track in conference play. Lipscomb travels to North Florida, where Frank German is one of the hottest pitchers in the country.
That series from Harmon Stadium will be seen live on ESPN3, while Facebook Live is your home for every other contest this weekend in ASUN Baseball.
Fans can follow @ASUNBSB on Twitter all weekend long to stay up to date with the action.
Record: 31-16 (7-8)
Upcoming Series: vs. #20 Stetson (Friday, 6:30 PM; Saturday, 2 PM; Sunday, 1 PM - all games on Facebook Live)
- FGCU looks to snap a four-game losing streak when they welcome the ASUN's hottest team to town in Stetson this weekend. The matchup features FGCU's high powered offense vs. Stetson's top pitching staff.
- The Eagles are coming off tying a season low with three hits in a midweek clash vs. Miami. FGCU's offense is batting a league-high .287 on the season with three regular starters over .300 this year.
- Alex Brait has taken over the team lead in batting average, as he is hitting .346 on the year with 25 RBI. Brait has produced 18 multi-hit games, while his 32 total bases in conference play rank fourth in the ASUN.
- Richie Garcia continues to be one of the top hitters in the conference. He leads the ASUN in RBI with 47, is tied for the lead in doubles with 15 and second with a .558 slugging percentage entering this weekend.
- FGCU's pitching staff ranks second in the conference with a 3.93 ERA overall. In league play, that ERA has slightly increased to 4.03 as Josh Dye (2.67) and Mario Leon (2.71) lead the Eagles' pitching staff.
- After posting eight wins last year, Dye holds a 7-3 record this season in only 12 starts. Dye's ERA has dropped from 3.23 last season to 2.67 this year, while his K/9 ratio sits at 6.95 entering this week.
- FGCU leads the all-time series 20-13, including winning the series the last time they played in Fort Myers back in 2016. The Eagles won 11-6 and 4-2 to claim the regular season series that year.
Record: 31-17 (8-6)
Upcoming Series: at USC Upstate (Friday, 6 PM; Saturday, 2 PM; Sunday, 1 PM - all games on Facebook Live)
- Jacksonville heads to USC Upstate this weekend looking to snap a three-game slide. The Dolphins rank 23rd in the latest RBI as they look to finish strong and put themselves in the at-large conversation.
- Angel Camacho has taken over the hits lead in the ASUN with 65 entering this weekend's action. The junior infielder is batting .333 with 44 RBI on the year. He leads the league with 18 RBI in conference play.
- Scott Dubrule produced another three-hit night against Florida State in midweek action. It marked the 22nd multi-hit game of the season for Dubrule. He ranks third in the ASUN in total hits with 63.
- Chris Mauloni has 17 saves on the year, tied for the ASUN and NCAA lead with Stetson's Brooks Wilson. The ASUN single-season record for saves is 18 held by Stetson's Robbie Powell & ETSU's Bo Reeder.
- Jacob Southern and Sam Armstrong have provided some power in the middle of the lineup, combining for 13 homers. Armstrong also leads the ASUN with 36 walks drawn so far this season.
- Chris Gau has been a model for consistency as the ace of JU's staff has pitched at least 7.0 innings in 10 consecutive starts. He tied his season-high with eight K's last time out against Stetson.
- The Dolphins hold a commanding 20-10 lead in the all-time series against USC Upstate. The last time Jacksonville won the regular season series at Harley Park was in 2014, taking two of three that year.
Kennesaw State Owls
Record: 24-22 (10-5)
Upcoming Series: vs. NJIT (Friday, 4 PM; Saturday, 2 PM; Sunday, 1 PM - all games on Facebook Live)
- The Owls dropped two midweek contests against in-state foes and will look to get back on track against NJIT this weekend. KSU's offense has only scored 2.5 runs/game in its last four outings.
- Grant Williams (14) and Griffin Helms (12) lead the team in the doubles category entering this weekend. The Owls rank first in the ASUN with 86 doubles, despite not recording a double during its current losing streak.
- Kennesaw State's offense has produced 130 extra-base hits, first in the ASUN, while recording 214 total bases in conference play so far, also tops in the league. Five players have 10+ XBH on the year already.
- Freshman Tyler Simon has been raking against ASUN foes this season as he ranks second with a .355 batting average. Two of his three homers have come in conference play entering this weekend.
- AJ Moore continues his undefeated run on the mound as he owns a 5-0 record on the year. He leads the team with 64.0 IP and a 2.39 ERA, which ranks fourth among starting pitchers in the ASUN.
- The Owls' pitching staff owns an 8.34 K/9 ratio in home games this season, compared to 7.75 on the road. The staff's ERA is also better at Stillwell Stadium, posting a 4.65 ERA at home vs. 5.95 on road.
- Kennesaw State has owned the series with NJIT in the early meetings, leading 5-1 heading into this weekend's action. They have never lost to the Highlanders at home, sweeping back in 2016.
Record: 20-25 (6-9)
Upcoming Series: at North Florida (Friday, 5:05 PM CT; Saturday, 1:05 PM CT; Sunday, 12:05 PM CT - all games on ESPN3)
- Lipscomb looks to win its second consecutive ASUN series after defeating USC Upstate at the end of April. The Bisons travel to North Florida, site of the 2018 ASUN Championship later this month.
- Home runs have been a staple for the Bisons' offense this season. They rank third in the ASUN with 32 entering this weekend's contest. Jake Perry (6) and Zeke Dodson (4) lead the team individually.
- Cade Sorrells has collected eight RBI in his last three contests, including back-to-back three-RBI games for the Bisons. The infielder ranks third on the team and 20th in the ASUN in runs batted in.
- Lipscomb stole nine bases in its weekend series sweep against SEMO last weekend. The Bisons have stolen 61 bases as a team, with Blake Thomas leading the team at 17 entering this weekend's action.
- Four Bisons pitchers have pitched 40.0 or more innings this season, with Chris Kachmar leading the team at 64.1 IP. Kyle Kemp has the best K/9 ratio with 10.54 coming into this weekend's series at UNF.
- Robbie Knox (5) and Kemp (4) have combined for all nine saves for the Bisons this season. Knox holds the team's best ERA at 2.66. He has 34 strikeouts compared to only 11 walks on the year.
- Lipscomb trails the all-time series 15-25 against North Florida entering this weekend's series. Lipscomb's last regular season series victory against the Ospreys came in 2009, when they won two home games.
Record: 18-21 (5-10)
Upcoming Series: at Kennesaw State (Friday, 4 PM; Saturday, 2 PM; Sunday, 1 PM - all games on Facebook Live)
- NJIT, which entered this season with four combined wins in conference play, have already eclipsed that total with five this season after winning a game at #25 Jacksonville last time out.
- The Highlanders rank second in the ASUN Conference in doubles (27) and triples (4) in league play. Jesse Uttendorfer leads the team with 15 doubles overall, eight of those in conference play.
- Julio Marcano continues to be one of the top hitters in the ASUN as he leads NJIT with a .340 batting average. He ranks fourth in the conference in batting average, tops among ASUN freshmen.
- Sean Lubreski (58.0 IP) and Jared Kacso (50.0 IP) have been the two workhorses for the NJIT pitching staff. Lubreski owns a 3.57 ERA, while Kacso sits at 4.50 entering this weekend.
- Three Highlanders have driven in 20 runs or more this season. Uttendorfer leads the squad with 22, while Evan Pietronico (21) and Michael Anastasia (20) sit behind him for the team lead.
- Tyler Stafflinger has been one of the top pitchers for NJIT's staff this season. He has allowed two runs or less in eight of his nine starts this season. His ERA is 2.72, best among NJIT starters.
- NJIT is 1-5 all-time against Kennesaw State as they travel down to Georgia this weekend. The Highlanders lone win came at home last year against KSU, when they won 5-2 in the second contest.
North Florida Ospreys
Record: 22-23 (7-8)
Upcoming Series: vs. Lipscomb (Friday, 6:05 PM; Saturday, 2:05 PM; Sunday, 1:05 PM - all games on ESPN3)
- The Ospreys are coming off an impressive sweep at FGCU last weekend and look to carry that momentum into this weekend's action against Lipscomb at Harmon Stadium. All games can be seen on ESPN3.
- With 82 runs scored in 15 conference games, North Florida's offense ranks second in the league. The Ospreys have collected 198 total bases in ASUN play, which also comes in second in the league.
- North Florida's pitching staff is the best in the ASUN when it comes to walks allowed per nine innings. UNF holds a 3.06 mark in that category, good for 19th in the nation heading into this weekend.
- Frank German has been brilliant all season long. His minuscule ERA of 1.24 leads all ASUN pitchers and ranks fifth in all of Division I baseball this week. He's pitched at least 8.0 IP in four straight starts.
- Tanner Murphy (35) and Jay Prather (32) have been the main RBI producers for the Ospreys this season. Prather has come on strong lately, recording at least one RBI in eight of his last 10 games.
- Murphy is the only player in the ASUN with double-digits in homers, doubles and stolen bases this year. His .344 batting average also second in the ASUN entering this weekend's action.
- The Ospreys hold a 25-15 all-time series advantage against this weekend's opponent Lipscomb. They have dominated as of late, winning every regular season series dating back to 2009.
USC Upstate Spartans
Record: 23-24-1 (5-10)
Upcoming Series: vs. Jacksonville (Friday, 6 PM; Saturday, 2 PM; Sunday, 1 PM - all on Facebook Live)
- USC Upstate looks to carry over momentum from a midweek rivalry win vs. Wofford into this weekend when they welcome Jacksonville to Harley Park for a three-game series.
- For the sixth time this year, Upstate's offense scored 12 runs or more. Toran Shahidi and Kyle Gensler combined for seven hits and six RBI in the 12-10 win against Wofford, giving Gensler a new career-high in hits.
- The Spartans continue to lead the league in triples with 18 on the season, while also pacing the ASUN in walks (208) and HBP (69). The offense ranks third in total runs with 269 entering this weekend.
- USC Upstate's pitching staff is led by two seniors in Blake Whitney and Kevin Hickey. The righties have pitched 60.0+ innings on the year, with Whitney posting an ERA of 1.37, ninth-lowest in the NCAA this week.
- Offensively, a couple of seniors lead the team in RBI as Charlie Carpenter has driven in 36, with Russell Schwertfeger bringing home 35 on the year entering this weekend's series against Jacksonville.
- Three Spartans have already been plunked 10+ times this season. Carpenter leads the team in that category with 16, while Shahidi is right behind him with 15. Andres Kim has 10 HBP, the top-three in the ASUN.
- USC Upstate trails the all-time series against Jacksonville 20-10, but they look for their second consecutive series win against the Dolphins at Harley Park. They won the series 2-1 at home in 2016.
#20 Stetson Hatters
Record: 37-11 (11-3)
Upcoming Series: at FGCU (Friday, 6:30 PM; Saturday, 2 PM; Sunday 1 PM - all games on Facebook Live)
- Stetson is the hottest team in the ASUN, and one of the hottest teams in the country as they broke into several top-25 polls this week. They head to FGCU for another big weekend conference series.
- Jack Perkins became the third different starting pitcher to earn ASUN Pitcher of the Week honors after a complete game masterpiece against #24 Jacksonville. He had eight Ks and allowed only six hits.
- Logan Gilbert continues to showcase why he is one of the top prospects in all of NCAA Division I Baseball. He is second in the NCAA with 121 Ks this year, as he owns a 12.61 K/9 ratio entering this weekend.
- Two-way star Brooks Wilson collected his 17th save of the year, which is tied for the ASUN and NCAA lead with JU's Chris Mauloni. He surpassed 300 career Ks in the process and holds a 1.70 ERA this year.
- The current seven-game winning streak marks the third winning streak of five games or more for the Hatters this season alone. They are sitting among the top-10 in RPI looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
- Offensive balance continues to be the winning formula for the Hatters as Jorge Arenas (29 RBI) leads a group of six Hatters with 20 or more RBI. Jacob Koos has 17 stolen bases to lead the squad in that category.
- Stetson trails the all-time series against FGCU 20-13 entering this weekend's showdown at FGCU. They won the series last year at home, and are looking for their first series win in Fort Myers since 2011.