Eagles Celebrate Field Dedication, Split Pair with FIT
Fort Myers, FL – On a beautiful day that marked the dedication of the FGCU Baseball/Softball Complex, 1,526 fans saw the Eagles baseball team split a doubleheader against Florida Tech 9-2 and 1-6, respectively
For the Eagles the offensive punch was once again supplied by the trio of Chris Brown, Travis Parrott, and Jason Cooper. Down 1-0 going into the bottom half of the second inning, the Eagles were jump started by Cooper’s leadoff homerun to left centerfield. The homerun gives him a total of 4 through 8 games for the season. He would finish the day 2 for 3 with three runs batted in. In the bottom half of the next inning, after the Panthers scored a run to take a 2-1 lead, the combination of Brown and Cooper would help give the Eagles the lead for good. With one out in the inning and following a Chris Perry walk, Brown and Cooper put together back-to-back RBI doubles giving FGCU a 3-2 lead.
Clinging to the 3-2 lead going into the seventh, the Eagles needed an offensive spark and that’s exactly what they got from the freshman Parrott. With the Eagles struggling against Florida Tech’s top reliever, sidearmer Matthew VanFleet, Parrott crushed a towering homerun down the right field line for the Eagles’ fourth run of the ballgame. FGCU then made adjustments to VanFleet’s awkward delivery and scored four insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to give them a healthy lead. The rally was keyed by an RBI bunt single by sophomore Patrick Stubbe, his second of the day, and run scoring singles from Brown and Parrott. Parrott finished the game 4 for 5 with 2 runs batted in and Brown went 3 for 5 with 2 runs batted in as well.
Junior right-hander Billy Phillips went 7 strong innings to pick up the win. Phillips (1-1) gave up only 2 earned runs while striking out five Panther batters. Sophomore Chris Cahill threw the final two innings of the game to pick up his first save of the season. Over his two impressive innings of work, Cahill gave up two weak singles and struck out one.
Florida Tech was led offensively by shortstop Steven Condotta, right fielder Scott Anslan, and designated hitter Ryan Self. Condotta and Anslan both had three hits for the game while Self drove in both Panther runs with an RBI double and a Sacrifice Fly.
Picking up the loss for the Panthers was Jeff Koehler. He gave up four runs over six innings while giving up eight hits and striking out three.
The story of the second game was the exceptional performance of Florida Tech pitcher Mike Succio, Jr. Maintaining his exceptional command over the complete seven inning game, he consistently kept the Eagles hitters uncomfortable and off-balance. Succio, Jr. scattered seven hits over his seven innings of work while only giving up one run and striking out five.
His offense backed up this strong performance with three two run innings that would provide more than enough runs to get the victory. Florida Tech jumped out early in the top of the first inning on a Devin Hopkins double that plated two runs giving them a quick 2-0 lead. Hopkins would get another hit later on and finished the game 2 for 3 with runs batted in.
With the Eagles down only two runs, the Panthers put up another 2 spot in the top of the fifth inning behind RBI doubles by Bryan Stanton and Paul Stone.
Taking the loss for the Eagles was sophomore right-hander Chris Hassen. Hassen (1-1) pitched six innings and gave up four runs and six hits while striking out four. On the offensive end the Eagles simply couldn’t put any thing together all game long. Contributing once again for FGCU was Chris Brown and Jason Cooper with two hits a piece.
The Eagles (5-3) will play vs. Florida Tech on Sunday starting at 1:00 pm.