No. 25 FGCU Drops Temple, 14-1
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The No.25 Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team took game two of the three-game set with Temple, 14-1 on Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium. Austin Gaines (West Palm Beach, Fla.) led the Eagles offensively, going a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, and three RBI.
“It all started with Patrick Nathanson,” said FGCU head coach Dave Tollett.”He gave us six great innings, striking out eight and not allowing a free pass. Offensively, Austin Gaines really stepped up at plate for us and the bottom of the order also produced for us today. We just played well all-around and hopefully we can come out tomorrow and complete the three-game sweep.”
Patrick Nathanson (Maitland, Fla.) earned the win the on the mound for the Eagles. Nathanson threw six complete innings, allowing only one run and striking out eight.
Temple’s Dan Moller received the loss after giving up seven earned runs on four hits in only 2.1 innings of work.
FGCU wasted no time scoring, in the bottom of the first the Eagles scored four runs on three hits to take the early 4-0 lead. The Eagles would bat around in the inning as Preseason A-Sun Player of the Year Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.) collected two RBI in the frame with a single up the middle and Gaines drove in Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) who reached after getting hit by a Moller fastball earlier in the inning.
In the bottom of the third, the Eagles plated three more runs. Gaines and freshman catcher Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) drew walks to start the inning before Robert Greene (Cape Coral, Fla.) sent an RBI single to left field, and junior transfer Luke Smierciak (Gainesville, Fla.) doubled down the left field line to score Reeves and Greene to give the Eagles the 7-0 lead. FGCU answered again in the bottom of the fourth with two more runs courtesy of a two-RBI triple down the left field line by Reeves, increasing the Eagles lead to 9-0.
Temple added their first and only run of the contest in the top of the sixth. Tony Jusino led off the inning with a single to left center, and Steve Nikorak drove in Jusino with a single up the middle.
In the bottom of the sixth, FGCU added three more runs to take a 12-1 advantage. Maxfield led off with a double followed by a one-out RBI double by Gaines. Reeves followed Gaines with a walk and Greene reached on a fielding error by Temple’s third baseman before Smierciak singled through the left side to score Reeves.
FGCU would plate two more runs in runs the bottom of the seventh, to make the score 14-,1 after an RBI double by Roberson and a RBI groundout by Maxfield that brought in Roberson who advanced to third on a pass ball.
In the game, FGCU outhit the Owls 14-7 and scored six of their runs with less than one out.
Four Eagles collected multiple hits on the day. Gaines led the way with four, Maxfield went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI, Greene went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI and Smierciak finished 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI.
Junior transfer Jack Wagoner (Berlin, Conn.) made his FGCU debut, throwing three scoreless innings, striking out three and only allowed one Temple hit.
The Eagles and Owls conclude the three-game series tomorrow (Feb. 21) at Swanson Stadium. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. For ticket information, please contact the FGCU Ticket Office at 239-590-7145.
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