FGCU Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Rollins
WINTER PARK, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team rallied to win game two 5-3 after dropping the opener 8-3 to split a doubleheader with Rollins College at Alfond Stadium on Friday evening.
Senior right-hander Billy Phillips (New Port Richey, Fla.) pitched a complete game seven-hitter to lead the Eagles to the win in the nightcap. Phillips (6-3) scattered 10 hits, allowing three runs while striking out four without a walk to help FGCU snap a four-game losing streak.
The Eagles jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI double by junior Jason Cooper (Bradenton, Fla.). The Tars came back to take a 2-1 lead in the second inning on a two-run home run by Chris Munoz. Eagles junior shortstop Jason Louwsma (Sanford, Fla.) blasted his team-leading 12th home run in the top of the fourth to tie it briefly at 2-2 lead before the Tars regained the lead 3-2 on a Matt Gerber solo home run in the bottom of the inning.
FGCU regained the lead for good with three runs on three hits in the fifth, highlighted by a RBI double by junior Chris Perry (Largo, Fla.), a RBI single by freshman Shawn Griffin (Hollywood, Fla.) and a RBI single by Louwsma. Phillips held the Tars to just four hits over the final three innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the sixth on a tremendous defensive play in the hole at shortstop by Louwsma.
Griffin had three of the Eagles nine hits in the game. Perry had a pair of hits while Louwsma had two hits and two RBI. Gerber was 2-for-2 for Rollins, while Mario Lombardo (5-4) took the loss.
In the opener, Louwsma (Sanford, Fla.) hit a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Eagles a quick 2-0 lead but FGCU couldn’t make it hold up. Nick Manson, the Tars first batter, answered with a solo home run off Eagles sophomore right-hander Chris Hassen (Port Charlotte, Fla.) to make it 2-1.
Rollins touched Hassen (8-3) for two runs in the third when Luis Dieguez a two-out, two-run home run , his fifth, for a 3-2 lead. The Eagles tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI single from junior Ian Manson (Plano, Tex).
Rollins answered with a run on two hits in the fifth for a 4-3 lead. They added four insurance runs in the seventh. Junior right-hander Ricardo Chile (8-1) picked up the complete-game victory for Rollins.
Ian Manson went 3-for-4 with a RBI while Louwsma went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Eagles, who pounded out 11 hits in game one. Griffin and junior first baseman Mike Mathews (Venice, Fla.) also went 2-for-4.
FGCU improved to 36-16 heading into next week's season-ending series at Lynn. Rollins is now 35-15.
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