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Four Crucial Conference Games Await Eastern Florida Baseball

March 31, 2014 - At the halfway point of its 24-game Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference schedule Eastern Florida's baseball team finds itself in second place, 1½ games behind pacesetter Miami Dade College.

Eastern Florida is 7-5 in the conference while Miami Dade is 9-4. Palm Beach State is third at 5-6, Indian River State fourth at 6-8 and Broward fifth at 4-8. The top two finishers in the four conferences — Southern, Panhandle, Mid-Florida and Suncoast — advance to the FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 Tournament. The third-place finishers play off for the final berths.

The Titans have the opportunity this week to strengthen their hold on a state tournament berth as they host three crucial conference games.

Palm Beach State comes calling for a 5 p.m. Tuesday game at Bruce Bochy Field on the Melbourne Campus. The Titans visit Palm Beach in Lake Worth at 5 p.m. Wednesday and then host Miami Dade for two games, 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to Titans home games is free.

Eastern Florida has beaten Palm Beach twice — 4-3 in Lake Worth and 9-4 in Melbourne — and split with Miami, winning 10-0 and losing 11-5, both in Miami. It also split four games each with Broward and Indian River.

To that end Eastern Florida head coach Jeff Tam doesn't expect this week's games to be any different.

"They will be typical Southern Conference games," Tam said. "Every pitch is important. Every ground ball, every fly ball. Each and every play has the potential to turn the game.

"And with the games winding down you cannot afford to give anything away — pitches, at bats, outs. Twelve games into the conference schedule the players know what to expect, what's at stake and what it's going to take to win."