Eagles Fall to No. 22 Seminoles, 11-3
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Zach Maxfield went 2-for-5 including his fifth home run of the season in the loss
Zach Maxfield went 2-for-5 including his fifth home run of the season in the loss

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.The FGCU baseball team opened up an 11-game road trip with an 11-3 loss at Florida State on Tuesday night.  With the loss, the Eagles three-game road winning streak ends as they move to 13-9, while the Seminoles, ranked 22nd in the latest NCBWA poll, improve to 12-4 at home and 12-8 on the season.

The Eagles threatened in the first, senior Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.) singled to first to beat Seminole right-hander Bo O’Dell to the bag to give the Eagles their first hit at Dick Howser Stadium. The next Eagle hitter, Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) drew a one-out walk followed by a strike out by Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.).

Patrick Nathanson (Maitland, Fla.) started for Eagles and struck out the first Seminole he faced. Nathanson walked Stephen Cardullo, followed by a single by Stuart Tapley to runner at first and second.  Nathanson got Mike McGee to strike out swinging on a double-steal and sophomore Robert Greene threw out Cardullo at third to complete the double play.   

The Seminoles grabbed the lead in the bottom half of the second with three runs. Florida State loaded the bases and brought home three courtesy of three walks, one Eagle error, a fielder’s choice and one hit in the inning.  

 In the third inning, Florida State extended the lead to 5-0 after Tommy Oravetz drove in Jason Stidham with a double to right, and Ohmed Danesh followed with a pinch hit RBI single, driving in Oravetz.

With the Eagles trailing by five runs in the fourth, Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.) lead-off the inning with his fifth home run of the season to cut the Seminoles lead down to four. One pitch later Sophomore Robert Greene (Cape Coral, Fla.) doubled to left field, followed by a single by Josh Chester (Weston, Fla.) to Eagle runners on first and third with no outs for freshman Bobbie Barrie (Daytona Beach, Fla.). O’Dell would strikeout Barrie, and retire the next two Eagle hitters to secure the 5-1 lead.

FSU would respond in the bottom half of the inning, stringing together three straight hits to open the inning.  Tyler Holt led off with a single, and Stephen Cardullo followed that up with a double, setting up runners on second and third for the Seminoles number three hitter, Stuart Tapley.  Tapley jumped on a 1-0 fastball, sending it completely out of Dick Howser Stadium over the left field wall, giving Florida State an 8-1 lead.

Tim Roberson started the fifth with his second single on the night, and would later advance to third on a ground out to second by Alvarez. Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) would bring home Roberson on a ground out to third to cut the Seminole led to 8-2.

Once again the Eagles left the bases loaded in the sixth. Thru six innings of play, the Eagles left 11 runners on base.

Tim Kiley (Palm Harbor, Fla.) came on in relief in the seventh inning for FGCU, and Jason Stidham greeted him rudely with a solo home run to left, extending the lead to 9-2.  Later in the inning, Ohmed Danesh doubled home a run, which was followed immediately by an RBI single from Parker Brunelle.  After seven innings, FSU held a commanding 11-2 lead.

The Eagles would plate one more in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from the bat of Stephen Wickens for his 18th RBI of the season that scored Josh Chester, but FGCU was unable to get any closer, as FSU held on for an 11-3 win.

Bo O’Dell pitched 5.0 innings to get the win for the Seminoles, improving his record to 2-1 on the season.  O’Dell allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out four batters.  Patrick Nathanson took the loss for the Eagles, dropping his record to 3-1 on the season.  Nathanson gave up three runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits, but also walked four batters, while striking out three.

The Eagles and Seminoles meet again right back at Dick Howser Stadium tomorrow evening to wrap up this two-game midweek series.  First pitch is slated for 6:00 PM.