FORT MYERS, FLA.- Three Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneer sophomores have signed NCAA Division I letters of intent during the early signing period which opened last week. Pitcher Mitch Myers is headed to the ACC's Pittsburgh, while fellow righthander Ryan Gusto will play at Western Kentucky, and infielder Connor Bagnieski inked with Chicago State.
Myers was the Bucs #2 arm a season ago, logging 73 2/3 innings while going 5-6 with a 4.28 ERA on the year. He finished the season with 62 strikeouts and allowed just one long ball all season. Myers' best effort of the season came against Central Alabama when he tossed a complete game, allowing just one earned run and punching out seven in a win over the Trojans.
Pittsburgh is on the rise behind Head Coach Mike Bell, who will begin his first season with the Panthers in 2019. Pitt finished 2018 with their first winning season since 2013 at 29-26, reaching the ACC semifinals for the first time in program history.
Gusto transferred to FSW from Broward College where he played his freshman season. Last season for the Seahawks, Gusto was 4-3 with a save on the mound, striking out 54 in 46 1/3 innings of work. Pitching primarily out of the Broward bullpen, Gusto saw action in 19 contests, going a season long 5 1/3 and allowing just one hit to earn a win against Indian River midway through the year.
He will join a Western Kentucky squad that was 21-31 last season and 11-18 in Conference USA action. Gusto will play for Coach John Pawlowski who has a history of developing pro level pitchers, having sent 50 arms to the professional ranks in 17 seasons as a skipper.
Bagnieski also comes to the Bucs as a transfer after he attended State College of Florida- Manatee last season. Bagnieski sat out last season with an injury but expects to be fully healthy for his only season with FSW in 2019.
Bagnieski will play for Head Coach Steve Joslyn and the Cougars who continue to steadily build the program in the Windy City. Bagnieski will fit right into the Chicago State program as the Cougars boast 22 junior college transfers on their roster for the upcoming season.
FSW has wrapped up its fall season and is now just about six weeks from opening day of their 2019 campaign when they host ASA Miami on January 25-26 at the Beautiful City of Palms Park in Fort Myers.
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CITY OF PALMS PARK
The FSW Buccaneers call City of Palms Park in downtown Fort Myers their home stadium for baseball and softball.
City of Palms Park, originally built by the City of Fort Myers, was the spring training site of the Boston Red Sox from 1993 until 2011, when the team moved for spring training in 2012 to JetBlue Stadium.
Since then City of Palms has seen continued use for sports tourism and community events, including 73 days of amateur baseball tournaments annually that generated more than 46,000 hotel room nights and $22.2 million in direct visitor expenditure. Events included Perfect Game, Roy Hobbs World Series, Minnesota Twins Sun Conference, USA Baseball and AAU Baseball. Community events at City of Palms included Easter sunrise and sunset services, Lee County Human Resources Health Fair, Homeless Coalition wellness event, Florida State Field Umpire Clinic and Team Puerto Rico practice.