Baseball team ready to host conference tournament

Baseball team ready to host conference tournament

The Eastern Florida State College baseball team will be playing for a spot in the FCSAA State Baseball Tournament beginning Wednesday.

The Titans finished second in the Southern Conference and will host the Southern Conference Tournament at Bruce Bochy Field. Indian River State College will open the tournament Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Broward College. Broward finished 10-14 in the conference and won four of the six meetings with Indian River State College during the regular season.

The winner of that game will advance to a best-of-three series with the Titans beginning Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Eastern Florida State College comes into the tournament 14-10 in the conference and is coming off a sweep of Broward College to lock up the top seed.

Freshman Carter Stewart was named the conference pitcher of the year this week and will get the start in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

"I think the big thing is to come out early and set the mood both hitting and pitching wise," said Stewart who leads Region VIII in ERA and strikeouts. "If we can go out and score some runs early and I can keep them to one run or less in the first few innings we should be fine. If we can do that and get on a roll, it will be big for us."

The Titans went 3-3 against Indian River State College and 5-1 against Broward this season.

"As long as we can make the routine plays and not give up a lot free passes, we will be fine this week," said catcher Austin Bates who is the conference player of the year. "The bats have gotten going again and our staff is really good. We are really in a good spot right now."

Game 2 will be Thursday at 3 p.m. with Game 3 scheduled for 6:30 p.m. if necessary. The winner will advance to the FCSAA State Tournament May 10-14 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.