Eagles Split Doubleheader with UNF
Saturday, March 01, 2008
J.J. Crumbley struck out five to earn his first win of the season
J.J. Crumbley struck out five to earn his first win of the season

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball opened up its A-Sun slate with North Florida, splitting a doubleheader with the Ospreys at Swanson Stadium on Saturday. The Eagles came up short in the first game, 5-1, and won the second, 4-3 in 10 innings.

The Eagles move to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, while the Ospreys record now stands at 3-2 and 1-1 in the A-Sun.

In the first game, junior Casey Coleman (Cape Coral, Fla.) pitched four full innings, allowing five earned runs with three strikeouts to earn his first loss of the season. His record dropped to 1-1 on the season.

Ty Pryor of North Florida picked up the win for the Ospreys after pitching six full innings, while giving up one earned run and three hits with seven strikeouts. His record now stands at 1-1 on the season.

The Eagles fell behind early as the Ospreys put together a four run second, courtesy of a three-run double by Ryan Lowe to right center. Lowe would later score on a single through the left side by TJ Thompson.

The Ospreys would tack on another run in the fourth on an RBI single by Ryan Lowe.

Senior Stephen Rassell (Lake City, Fla.) singled through the right side to lead off the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, senior Jason Peacock (Bartow, Fla.) singled up the middle scoring Rassell.

In their first loss of the season, the Eagles were held to just five hits on one run.

In the second game, senior Richard Bleier (Davie, Fla.) threw six full innings, striking out four, allowing two earned runs. Classmate JJ Crumbley (Lakeland, Fla.) pitched the final four innings of the game. Crumbley allowed no runs, and struck out five to earn his first win of the season. His record now stands at 1-0.

“As a reliever my job is to leave the game with the same score it was when I entered,” said senior J.J. Crumbley. ”I knew it was a matter of time before our hitters would find a way to win.”

The Ospreys once again jumped out to an early lead, scoring one in the top of the first as Preston Hale reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Thompson. 

The Eagles would answer back with two of their own in the bottom of the first. Junior Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.) walked on five pitches, and then Rassell singled through the right side on a full count, advancing Upchurch to second. After a balk by Ospreys starting pitcher John Atteo, senior Ozzie Borrell (Hialeah, Fla.) drove in his ninth run of the season on a sacrifice fly to right field to score Upchurch. Peacock would add another RBI, as he singled down the left field line to score Rassell.

The Eagles lead would not last long as the Ospreys added one in the top of the second.

Once again the Eagles responded. With two outs, Upchurch laid down a drag bunt and Ospreys third baseman Andrew Hannon threw it away, Upchurch advanced to second. Borrell singled through the 3-4 hole to give the Eagles the lead for the second time, 3-2.

The Ospreys would tie the game at three in the bottom sixth. After nine innings of play the game remained tied at three.     

In the bottom of the tenth inning, with two outs and a runner of second Upchurch singled to right field to score pincher runner DJ Bissell (Longwood, Fla.). 

“I told myself I need to make good contact,” said Josh Upchurch. “He got ahead early and I knew he was going to come right after me.”

“These were two hard fought games,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “This was a big A-Sun win tonight. They are a top notch team and we need to come tomorrow and get ahead early.”

The Eagles will return to action on Sunday, Mar. 2 against North Florida in the series finale at Swanson Stadium, starting at 1 p.m.