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Bulls travel to face Eagles’ potent offense

Levi Borders leads USF with four home runs and his .298 batting average is second only to his brother, Luke. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/SEBASTIAN CONTENTO

With four Eagles batting over .300, the Bulls will likely depend on pitching and defense to quell FGCU’s offense when they face them tonight at 6:30.

Brothers Levi and Luke Borders have given USF an offensive boost and look to carry their momentum into Fort Myers.

Combined, the brothers went 8-for-10 in their last outing Sunday against No. 18 Illinois. The Bulls (16-8-1) dropped their first two games, but the brothers came in clutch in the 8-5 win, driving in runners in the 10th inning. 

Right-handed pitcher Tommy Peterson kept the Fighting Illini scoreless in the bottom frame en route to a spot on the AAC Honor Roll. Peterson (2-1) notched two wins and a save in three appearances last week. 

Luke and Levi, who have started all 25 games, lead the Bulls with their respective .303 and .298 batting averages.

Levi, who doubled 11 times and homered once in his sophomore season, now has six doubles and a team-high four homers about five weeks into the season. 

Luke, who doubled six times in his freshmen season, has doubled a team-high seven times. 

FGCU (11-12-1) is coming off a weekend sweep of Bethune-Cookman, in which the Eagles outscored the Wildcats 20-9. Outfielder Zach Spivey went 8-for-12 with three runs and an RBI, and third baseman Jake Noll went 7-for-13 with two runs and five RBIs in the series. 

Spivey (.347) and Noll (.337) are two of four Eagles averaging over .300. First baseman Nick Rivera and outfielder Adam Eggnatz are batting .355 and .304, respectively. 

The last time the Eagles and Bulls met, USF fell 6-2 in a midweek matchup Feb. 24.

FGCU has been hot and cold since then, getting swept by Minnesota, sweeping Western Michigan and getting swept by Nebraska, while dropping home-and-home games to No. 19 Miami in between. 

USF, on the other hand, has gone 12-5 with a nine-game winning streak since the teams previously met.