#FGCU Struggles at the Plate, Leaves Miami with a 4-0 Loss
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
FGCU (16-9)
Miami Hurricanes (14-12)
3/26/2014 | Coral Gables, Fla. | Attendance: 2464
Miami Hurricanes10020100X4120
Win: Derik Beauprez (1-0) 5.020014
Loss: TILLERY (1-2) 4.083313
MOREY (FGCU) 401000
Zack Collins (UM) 403100
Johnny Ruiz (UM) 423000

WP | Derik Beauprez (1-0):  5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
LP | Zack Tillery (1-2): 4.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO

CORAL GABLES, Fla. ­­– The FGCU baseball team (16-9, 3-0 Atlantic Sun) traveled to Miami (13-12, 5-4 ACC) on Wednesday night and came away with a 4-0 loss in the second meeting of the season between the two programs, increasing Miami’s lead in the all-time series to 8-1.

Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) took the ball for the Green and Blue on Wednesday and for the second time in as many starts against Miami. He would take the loss this time tossing 4.0 innings while giving up eight hits that resulted in three earned runs, walking just one and striking out three.

Two hits for the Green and Blue were a season low coming off of season-bests in runs (17) and hits (20) against USC-Upstate on Saturday afternoon. It is just the second time this season that FGCU has been shut out, the first coming at Florida on March 1.

“It’s disappointing that the bats didn’t feel like showing up for a big game like this one,” head coach Dave Tollett. “We need better against quality opponents if we are going to compete for a league title.”

The Hurricanes jumped on the board quickly, putting runners on first and second with just one out in the first. Tillery would give up a double down the right-field line allowing the first run to come around and put runners on second and third with one away. Tillery picked up a strikeout for the second out and Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) caught the runner at third sleeping with a throw-down pick-off for the third out to end the threat.

The Eagles bats only picked up two hits over the first four innings and in the bottom half of the fourth the Miami bats came alive again beginning with a leadoff double down the left-field line and followed by a single up the middle off Tillery to bring the lead to 2-0. The runner on first would steal second and a sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a base hit that put runners on first third with no one out. A sacrifice fly for the first out made the score 3-0 and Tillery would work out of the fourth with no further damage.

Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS) relieved Tillery in the fifth and worked cleanly through his first frame but in the sixth gave up a hit to the leadoff man which would result in sac bunt to move the runner into scoring position. A hard hit ball up the middle for the 11th Hurricane hit of the day would bring in a fourth run for UM. Koerner would induce a double-play out of the next batter but the damage had been done.

Perhaps the Eagles best chance to put a run on the board came in the seventh when a long fly ball off the bat of Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) seemed destined to land over the left field wall when the UM leftfielder reached over and robbed Suchy of his second long ball of the season. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) would work a walk but nothing would come of it.

Koerner would keep the Hurricanes off the board the rest of the way but the Eagle offense never woke up, going down in order in the eighth and ninth to quietly take the 4-0 loss.

FGCU has now dropped both games to Miami this season by a combined score of 7-2, picking up a combined 11 hits. The pitching did however allow four or fewer runs for the 19th time this season.

The Eagles will be back in action in A-Sun play this weekend at Stetson before traveling to Tallahassee to take on the No. 1 team in the nation in Florida State. The first game at Stetson will be Friday at 6:30 p.m. before coming back on Saturday and Sunday for games with the Hatters and 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.