FGCU Baseball Completes A-Sun Weekend Sweep of Jacksonville, 10-2, on Sunday
|Win: COONEY (4-5)||6.0||4||2||1||2||8|
|Loss: MCRAE (3-6)||4.0||7||7||6||2||2|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind a pair of home runs from sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) and eight strikeouts from junior right-hander Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS), the FGCU baseball team finalized the Atlantic Sun Conference weekend sweep of Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium, defeating the Dolphins 10-2 in the finale of the three-game set.
Entering the day third in the A-Sun standings, the Eagles raised their overall record to 30-16 this year, a mark which includes a 14-7 record in league contests. Meanwhile, the Dolphins fell to 14-32 (7-14 A-Sun) as they now trail the Eagles 11-7 in the all-time series between the schools. FGCU took game one on Friday night, 11-1, before earning the series win in Saturday’s 4-2 victory. Winners of eight straight games, the Eagles have now won six straight A-Sun games and eight of their last nine league contests.
“We put ourselves in a hole a little bit over the first couple innings with some defensive mistakes, but the team battled back nicely over the middle innings to get us back in it,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “I was really impressed with the way the team swung the bat and how well Cooney pitched for us this afternoon. It’s nice to get three wins in league play with only a couple A-Sun series remaining. Now we pack up for a five-game road trip which includes a huge series with UNF, who’s leading the conference, next weekend.”
Opening the game on the mound for the Eagles, Cooney (4-5) provided six innings and allowed just two runs, only one of which was earned, while striking out a season-high eight batters and issuing two walks in a 97-pitch performance. While earning his fourth win of the year, the Vero Beach, Fla. product lowered his ERA to 2.73 this season and now holds 50 strikeouts in 52.2 innings while keeping opponents to a .232 average at the plate.
JU’s Brady North opened the top of the second with a double into left center and a wild pitch allowed him to advance to third. A RBI groundout to short in the next at-bat from Braddock Rowe gave the Dolphins a 1-0 lead.
The score went to 2-0 in the top of the third when Kris Moulter recorded a triple on a ball misplayed by the outfielder. Later in the frame with two away, a defensive miscue on a groundball in the infield allowed the Dolphins to take the two-run edge.
A four-run fourth inning gave FGCU a two-run cushion in the contest. Junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) opened the inning with a walk, and runners ended up on first and second with no outs following a liner up the middle from junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS). The runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) and both came in to score on a screaming double down the left field line from freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS). After freshman Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) extended the inning with a towering fly ball that dropped in for a double, sophomore Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) picked up an RBI with a ground out to short. The Eagles’ fourth and final run of the inning came by a way of another bloop single into right field off the bat of freshman Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjorie Stoneman Douglas HS) which allowed Selesky to score and moved FGCU ahead 4-2.
The Eagles’ advantage grew to 7-2 in the bottom side of the fifth as three runners moved around the bags. Suchy kick-started the frame by depositing his first home run of the game over the wall in left field. Bednar reached on an error at third base and Dwyer followed with a walk, as both advanced on a wild pitch. Beisner drove in the pair of runs on a single back up the middle for the five-run differential.
Suchy helped the Eagles push their lead to 8-2 in the home half of the sixth, roping his team-best seventh home run over the wall in left field for the second time in the game.
Eventually the Green and Blue established a 10-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth following a walk to Bottomley and a single into right field from Reeves to put runners on the corners. Sending a chopper to the third baseman, Suchy scored Bottomley from third and was able to reach first base on an errant throw on the play. Having also moved to third on the error, Reeves accounted for the 10th run of the game on a ground ball of the bat of Bednar.
FGCU scored 10 runs on 10 hits and a pair of JU errors. Suchy provided the offensive spark, going 2-for-5 on the pair of home runs, adding three RBI and two runs scored to his season numbers. Rivera went 2-for-3 in the game with a pair of doubles, scoring once and bringing in two RBI. Beisner drove in two RBI in a 1-for-2 game, and Selesky supplied a 2-for-3 game with a double, a walk and one run scored.
JU scored two runs on five hits and two FGCU errors. Starting the game for the Dolphins, sophomore right-hander Alex McRae (3-6) took the loss after four innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and two walks.
For the series, the Eagles hit a combined .366 with a .516 slugging and .465 on-base percentage, scoring 25 runs and collecting 23 RBI. Bednar led the offense on the weekend, hitting .545 (6-for-11) with a .545 slugging percentage and .643 on-base percentage with four runs scored. Bottomley hit .500 (4-for-8) in the series with four runs scored and three RBI, slugging .625 and reaching base at a .636 rate. Collecting 12 total bases over the three games, Suchy held a .462 average (6-for-13) while leading the team with two home runs, five RBI and five runs scored.
Opening a five-game road trip, FGCU returns to action on Wednesday when it heads to Tallahassee, Fla. to face Florida A&M in doubleheader matchup beginning at 2 p.m. The Green and Blue then head to Jacksonville, Fla. for a three-game A-Sun series against North Florida, which currently sits atop the league standings. A full preview of the midweek set with FAMU will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com on Tuesday.
|Copyright ©2014 FGCU Athletics. All Rights Reserved.||www.FGCUAthletics.com|