Josh Parr and Casey McMurray combined for 8 rbis at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge
Tournament play has that added competitive tension but this weekend, Illinois (1-2) gets to play an honest-to-goodness three game series. This weekend’s opponent is Florida Gulf Coast University (2-2) and they’ll be playing in warm Ft Myers, Florida. I’m sure the guys will appreciate the continuity of playing the same team at the same ballpark for the whole weekend as much as they will they’ll appreciate the nice weather.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
|February 25, 2011||5:30 pm ct|
|February 26, 2011||1:00 pm ct|
|February 27, 2011||12:00 noon ct|
|Swanson Stadium||Fort Myers, FL|
|Program website link||Record||2-2 (T8th in A-Sun)|
|Head Coach:||Dave Tollett||Key player:||Zach Maxfield|
In 2010, FGCU had a successful year going 38-20 but more importantly, they were 25-5 in their Atlantic Sun conference. A few wins against this team would do wonders for Illinois’ RPI, I would presume.
Look out for firstbaseman Zach Maxfield. Last year, he was second on the team in hitting, homeruns and rbis. This year, he’s hot out of the gate already hitting .412 in FGCU’s first four game.
This team can beaten though. So far they are 2-2 with a four game series split against Central Michigan. Two of those games went into extras so they may be looking for a few low-stress games.
I ran across this Telegraph-Journal article on pitcher Jay Johnson who has made Spring Training with the Seattle Mariners team. Jay’s brother is former Illini catcher Aaron Johnson.
Illinois is already staking their claim as the Big Ten team with the legs. Of the 30 bases stolen by Big Ten runners, nine belong to Illini base runners, tops in the conference. We’re doing ok on the other end, too. Illini catcher Adam Davis has thrown out two of three attempted steals.