FGCU Baseball Wins in Commanding Fashion
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University bats exploded for 16 hits to lead the No. 21 Eagles to a convincing 14-1 victory over the No. 7 Franklin Pierce College Ravens at Swanson Stadium on Thursday evening. The win was the eighth straight for FGCU, which improves to 22-5. Franklin Pierce falls to 13-3.
The Eagles jumped on the Ravens with a pair of runs in the first inning. FGCU scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by senior Jason Louwsma (Sanford, Fla.) and an RBI single by leftfielder Shawn Griffin (Hollywood, Fla.) for a 2-0 lead.
FGCU came right back to add seven runs in the second inning, sending 12 batters to the plate. The first seven batters of the inning scored for the Eagles, capped off by junior Geoff Rottmayer’s (Clearwater, Fla.) fifth home run of the season for a 9-0 lead that chased Ravens starter Daniel Fournier, who had not allowed a run in his first 17 innings this year.
In the bottom of the fifth, FGCU would add three more runs on RBI’s from Louwsma and Rottmayer, plus a wild pitch. The Eagles added two more runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Upchurch and Louwsma to make it 14-0
Finally in the top of the ninth, Franklin Pierce picked up its lone run. DH Kim Hart, who went 2-for-4, had an RBI single to score Jake Christman, who hit a one-out double, to make it 14-1.
Upchurch went 3-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored for FGCU while Louwsma went 3-for-5 with five RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore catcher Graig Smith (Venice, Fla.) added three hits for the Eagles while Griffin had two RBI. FGCU has now had at least 11 hits in seven of its last eight games.
Four Eagles pitchers combined to hold the Ravens, who entered with a .378 team batting average, to just six hits. Junior right-hander Chris Hassen (Port Charlotte, Fla.) improved to 3-1 with three shutout innings, allowing just two singles while striking out four. Junior Justin Stiver (Englewood, Fla.) came on to hold the Ravens to one single over the next four innings. Senior lefty Ryan Williams (Estero, Fla.) pitched a scoreless eight inning before junior Jason Kiley (Palm Harbor, Fla.) allowed one run on three hits in the ninth.
FGCU returns to action on Monday afternoon with a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Clark Atlanta.
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