No. 2 FGCU Drops Elimination Game with No. 6 Lipscomb, 3-2, at A-Sun Championship
|Win: HWANG (3-0)||7.2||5||2||1||4||5|
|Loss: COONEY (6-6)||2.0||1||3||3||2||3|
DeLAND, Fla. – Returning to the field at the Atlantic Sun Championship for a continuation of Thursday evening’s contest, the second-seeded FGCU baseball team fell in its elimination meeting with sixth-seeded Lipscomb, 3-2, on Friday morning at Melching Field on the campus of Stetson University in DeLand, Fla.
The Eagles head back to Fort Myers with a 37-20 record while the Bisons (25-33) advance to face the loser of Friday’s contest between No. 7 Kennesaw State and No. 3 North Florida.
The Bisons needed little time to take a 3-0 advantage in the first inning on Thursday, advancing a leadoff single to third base on a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball. Drew Adams’ sacrifice fly to right field opened the scoring and, after a hit-by-pitch to Aaron Sandoval, Tyson Ashcraft connected for a two-run home run off the foul pole in left field for the three-run lead.
FGCU rallied back in the bottom of the second, starting with a screamer of the pitcher’s glove by junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS), a single through the left side by redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) and a walk to freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) that loaded the bags before the 14 hour and 10 minute rain suspension.
As quickly as the game resumed on Friday morning, the Eagles were able to make it a 3-1 game with a passed ball on the first that allowed Dwyer to score and advance Beisner and Rivera to second and third. The second run in the inning came across for the Eagles when freshman Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjorie Stoneman Douglas HS) sent a sacrifice fly to right center that scored Beisner from third base for the 3-2 score.
The Eagles survived a scare in the top of the seventh, as Lipscomb held runners at second and third with one out. Leadoff hitter Lee Wilson hit a sharp grounder to second base, but junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) hosed the insurance run at the plate to keep the tally off board. The Eagles worked out of the situation with a liner to Beisner at first base to strand two runners on base.
In the bottom of the eight, the Green and Blue posed their best scoring opportunity in the later stages of the game, loading the bases on a leadoff walk to senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) and a two-out walk to junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) and a hit-by-pitch to Beisner. However, the Eagles stranded the runners on the bags when a swinging strikeout sent the game to the ninth. This proved to be the final threat for the Green and Blue in the contest as they were retired in order in the final frame.
FGCU scored two runs on five hits in the contest, led by Dwyer hitting 3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Beisner scored once in a 1-for-3 game, and sophomore Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) (1-for-3) accounted for the other base knock in the game on a single through the left side.
Starting the game on Thursday for the Eagles, junior right-hander Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) (6-6) was hit with the loss after going the opening two innings, allowing three runs on one hit and two walks while striking out three. Freshman righty Michael Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forest Hill HS) tossed the final seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and one walk while also striking out three hitters.
The Bisons recorded three runs on five hits in the contest. Sophomore righty Jaesung Hwang (2-0) earned the victory for Lipscomb, going 7.2 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks while striking out five batters.
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