Eagle Bats Come Alive as Sale Delivers Another Solid Performance
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team recorded 14 hits to take game one of a three-game weekend series against USC Upstate by a score of 14-6 Friday night at Swanson Stadium.
With the win, the Eagles move to 23-16 (14-5 A-Sun), and the Spartans fall to 10-31 (3-19 A-Sun).
Chris Sale (Lakeland, Fla.) earned his sixth win of the season. Sale (6-3) threw seven innings, allowed only one run (unearned) on four hits, and struck out seven Spartans. Ryan Fern received the loss, Fern (1-6) threw 4.2 innings, gave up 10 runs (eight earned) on 10 Eagle hits.
The Eagles would get the scoring started in the bottom of the second after back to back doubles by Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) and Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) to give the Eagles the early 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Eagle's pitcher Chris Sale would get into a little bit of trouble as the Spartans had runners on first and third with only one out. Sale would pitch out of the jam getting Tommy Shovlin to ground into the inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Eagles would add three more runs in the third making the score 4-0. Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) started the Eagle rally after reaching first on an error by the shortstop. On a 1-1 count, Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) drove a two- run homerun over the center field fence to make the score 3-0. Maxfield would extend the rally after hitting a double just past the outstretched glove of the Upstate right fielder. One pitch later, Wickens drove an RBI single up the middle allowing Maxfield to score from second to make it 4-0.
In the top of the fifth, Upstate would touch up Sale for one run on one hit making the score 4-1. With two outs and runners on first and second, Shovlin drove a single back up the middle allowing Jacob Breen to score from second.
The Eagles would answer in the bottom of the inning scoring four more runs of their own to extend their lead to 8-1. Maxfield reached first base collecting his second hit of the game to start the inning. With nobody out, Chester drove his third homerun on the year over the right field fence to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, and making the score 6-1. After a walk and a single, freshman Joe Guarnaccia (Davie, Fla.) drove a bases clearing triple past a diving third baseman allowing two more runs to cross the plate and extend the Eagle lead to 8-1 after five innings of play.
The Eagles would continue to dominate offensively as they added two more runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 10-1. Alvarez would start the onslaught as he reached base for the third time after a single and a stolen base. Maxfield would deliver and drive in Alvarez on an RBI single to right field. After Wickens got hit by a pitch, Roberts would drive in the tenth run of the game for the Eagles as Wickens crossed the plate making the score 10-1 after six innings of play.
It became a battle of the bullpens late in the game as both sides were able to push some runs across. While allowing some runners to cross the plate, the Eagles held a comfortable margin for most of the night and won by a score of 14-6
Eight different Eagles recorded RBI’s in the game, and all but one Eagle starter registered a hit. Five Eagle hitters recorded multiple hits, Alvarez went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Roberson went 2-for-6 with three RBI and a run scored, Maxfield went 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored, Wickens went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Roberts went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
The Eagles and Spartans wrap up their three game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. for the first game of a doubleheader.
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