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Marist Prepares to face Gators in Regionals

The Marist Red foxes will be the Gators opponents in the regional round of the NCAA Baseball Championship. The Red Foxes are a four seed in the bracket, while Florida is ranked third overall seed in the playoff bracket.

Journey to the Tourney

Marist ended their season winning five of their last six contests. Their regular season finished strong with a victory in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship. The championship victory gave them an automatic bid into the postseason tournament.

During the regular season the team went 16-8 in MAAC conference play and a 32-21 record on the season.

Marist has only faced one team that made the postseason this year: Mississippi State. In two game the Marist lost their first  12-4 but would win their second contest 9-8. The Gators also played Mississippi State this season, which ended in a 12-3 victory in the SEC tournament for Florida.

Offense

The Red Foxes have to main offensive weapons, Andrew Rouse and Frankie Gregoire. Rouse, a switch hitting Junior infielder, leads the team in hits with 64 and boasts a batting average of .325. Head coach Chris Tracz said that Rouse’s contributions expand to being the team’s glue guy in the locker room. Frankie Gregoire, a sophomore outfielder, who leads the team with nine home runs, adding 41 RBI (Runs Batted In) on the season.

Another key aspect of the Red Foxes’ offense is stolen bases. The team has stolen 98 bases on 118 attempts, with Tyler Kirkpatrick leading the team with 21 steals on 23 attempts. Head coach Chris Tracz said their emphasis on stealing bases came from low power hitting numbers.

Tracz also noted that the Gators present a tough challenge on defense, and that his team will need to be at their best to beat the Gators.

Pitching

On the mound Marist is led by junior left handed pitcher Charlie Jerla, who finished the regular season with a 9-1 record. Another notable pitcher for the Red Foxes is right-hander Scott Boches who, despite a 6-5 record, leads the team with an ERA (earned run average) of 2.63 in 15 appearances. Senior right-handed pitcher Sean Keenan will be on the mound against the Gators Friday night. Keenan is 6-0 on the year with a 2.78 ERA.

Tonight’s Game

First pitch for tonight’s game is set for 7 p.m. You can find coverage of the game on ESPN 98.1 FM and 850 AM WRUF starting at 6:50 p.m. The winner of tonight’s game will go on to play the winner of USF v. Bethune Cookman Saturday at 7 p.m.

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