Eagles Split Doubleheader with Northwood
West Palm Beach, FL - The FGCU baseball team is now 4-2 on the season after splitting a doubleheader against Northwood University 13-0 and 3-6, respectively.
Sophomore pitcher Chris Hassen led the way during the first game with a dominating pitching performance to record his first victory of the season. Hassen struck out four and only surrendered four hits over a six inning game that was stopped due to the 10 run mercy rule. The Eagles were riding the back of Hassen in a tight 3-0 ballgame when they blew the game open with a ten spot in the sixth inning. FGCU batted around in the inning with Derek Mollica’s two home runs leading the way. Mollica finished the day 2 for 3 with five runs batted in. Sophomore catcher Jason Cooper continued to swing a hot bat with a 2 for 3 day at the plate that included two runs scored and 3 runs batted in.
Hits were hard to come by for the hometown Seahawks who got one hit a piece from Justin Griffin, Eddie Salgado, Keith Douglas, and Harving Lejarazo. Their best opportunity to score came in the bottom of the first inning when Griffin tripled with one out. Jesse Brahm followed with what appeared to be a sacrifice fly, but freshman leftfielder Travis Parrott fired a strike to the plate to nail Griffin after making the catch for an inning ending double play. Taking the loss for the Seahawks was right-handed pitcher Simon Echenagucia. He gave up five hits, five walks, and three earned runs over five innings of work.
The third and final game of the series turned out to be the closest and most suspenseful with the game still in the balance as the last out was made. The scoring began in the bottom half of the second as the Seahawks put two runs on the board. The key hits in the inning were a pair of doubles by designated hitter Giuseppe D’Andrea and shortstop Samuel Montanez.
The Eagles answered in the top of the third with a leadoff home run by sophomore right fielder Mike Matthews cutting the score in half, 2-1. Unfortunately for FGCU the Seahawks came right back with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to increase their lead to 4-1. The rally was once again highlighted by a D’Andrea double that drove in the second run of the inning. In his only other at bat of the day he was hit by Eagle starter Billy Phillips making him 2 for 2 on the day with two doubles, one run, and one run batted in.
The two teams would then both score a pair of runs each over the next three innings making the score 6-3 going into the dramatic seventh. Needing three runs to tie the game the Eagles got back-to-back walks to start the inning off Seahawk closer Adam Tuthill. He received the quick hook as Northwood then brought in Carmelo Fernandez to escape the jam. Senior Mike Howard then had an epic battle at the plate before flying out to the right fielder for the first out of the inning. The Eagles then had the situation they had hoped for with their hottest hitter, Parrott, coming to the plate representing the tying run. He proceeded to crush the offering from Fernandez, but right at second baseman Steven Polio, who then started the game ending double play.
Getting the win for the Seahawks was starter Greg Gerbasi. He worked six innings, gave up three earned runs, and struck out five. Fernandez picked up the save with one inning of work. Taking the loss for FGCU was Phillips who gave up six earned runs on eight hits through five innings of work while striking out four.
The Eagles (4-2) will play vs. Florida Tech on Saturday starting at 3:00 pm.
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