Baseball Falls to Bethune-Cookman, 8-6, in Season Opener
|Florida Gulf Coast||0||1||0||2||1||0||2||0||0||6||11||2|
|Win: DAILEY (1-0)||2.1||4||2||2||0||4|
|Loss: COONEY (0-1)||0.1||1||4||2||2||0|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Despite a 10-strikeout performance through the opening six innings by senior Jason Forjet (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Nova HS), the FGCU baseball team dropped its season opener to Bethune-Cookman, 8-6, on Friday night at Swanson Stadium.
“I felt like we played well at times, and young at other times throughout the night,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “There are certainly some areas we can improve upon moving forward, and we have an opportunity to work on those in the two games remaining this weekend.”
Earning a no-decision in his first start of the season, Forjet turned in an impressive 10-strikeout, four-hit performance, allowing just one unearned run through his six frames on the mound.
The Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 lead, plating runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings. A single to left field by sophomore catcher Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) drove in classmate Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS), who reached on a walk and advanced to second on single by fellow sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS).
FGCU tacked on two more runs in the fourth when Valencia again drove in Dwyer on yet another single to the left side. Reaching base on a single up the middle, Bednar came across the dish on a fielder’s choice by redshirt freshman Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson HS). The Green and Blue stretched the lead to four runs in the fifth frame when Dwyer drove in junior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) on a RBI single to center field.
B-CU wouldn’t go away quietly, rattling off eight unanswered runs to take an 8-4 lead in the contest. Alejandro Sanchez put the Wildcats on the board in the sixth with an RBI triple to deep right center field. The Wildcats would take a four-run lead in the seventh, plating seven runs on four hits and one FGCU defensive miscue.
With freshman third basemen Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) on first base following his first career hit to left field, Dwyer approached the plate and deposited a long ball over the right field wall for his first home run of the season, cutting the deficit to 8-6. It proved to be the final FGCU push in the contest, as the Wildcats held the Green and Blue scoreless over the final two frames.
Sophomore Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) was hit with the loss, surrendering four runs (two earned), on one hit and a pair of walks in a third of an inning. Jordan Dailey earned the victory for B-CU in the season opener for both teams, throwing 2.1 frames and giving up two earned runs on four hits to go along with four strikeouts.
Combining for 11 hits as a team, the Eagles were led offensively by Bednar’s 3-for-5 night, adding a run scored. Dwyer added to the offensive effort with a 2-for-4 game, scoring three runs while tallying a trio of RBI.
The two teams will be back in action on Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. Redshirt senior Patrick Nathanson (Maitland, Fla./Trinity Prep) is the probable starter for the Green and Blue in the contest.
Saturday, Feb. 18 – 2 p.m.
FGCU – LHP Patrick Nathanson, R-Sr. (Did not see game action in 2011)
B-CU – RHP Montana Durapau, So. (1-4, 7.91 ERA, 33.0 IP, 36 SO, 37 BB, .296 B/Avg.)*
Sunday, Feb. 19 – 1 p.m.
FGCU – LHP Brandon Bixler, So. (0-3, 8.69 ERA, 26.1 IP, 22 SO, 26 BB, .325 B/Avg.)*
B-CU – RHP Rayan Gonzalez, Sr. (0-3, 4.86 ERA, 46.1 IP, 49 SO, 24 BB, .319 B/Avg.)*
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles and @FGCUBaseball), results and recaps from all FGCU events are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
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