Clearwater, FL – The FGCU Eagles recorded another first as they threw a combined no hitter while taking both ends of a doubleheader over Clearwater Christian. They outscored the Cougars 11-1 and 11-0 respectively as they improved their season record to 8-3.
Although the first game started in cold conditions, the Eagle bats came out hot. They laced a couple of key hits and took advantage of Cougar starter Chris Sidwell’s eight walks to jump out early and cruise to the 11-1 victory. Leading the charge offensively was senior first baseman Chris Brown. Brown went 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs, a double, and a stolen base. Also making contributions were sophomore second baseman Derek Mollica, 1 for 3 with 3 RBIs, and sophomore second baseman Rene Ruiz who scored three runs.
Recording his first collegiate win for the Eagles was freshman right hander Jason Kiley (1-0). He gave up 3 hits and one earned run over four innings while striking out 4 and walking one. Freshman Drew Phillips finished up the game with one good inning of work that included two strikeouts.
The Cougars could only muster three scattered singles by David Jessup, Jonathan Domico, and Andrew Stenberg. Picking up the loss for Clearwater Christian was the right hander Sidwell. He gave up four hits and six earned runs over three innings while striking out one and walking eight.
On of the program’s first great accomplishments almost went by unnoticed as the Eagles fought the harsh weather conditions and the complacency of playing a team they had just beaten 11-1 in the first game of the doubleheader. The second game started out much like the first one as the Eagles put up two two-run innings behind Chris Brown’s two hits, Mike Howard’s RBI single, and Chris Perry’s sacrifice fly.
The Eagles broke open the 4-0 game in the top of the fifth with a five run inning that made the score 9-0. The team batted around against new Cougar pitcher Jim Kuntzelman and took advantage of two big Cougar errors. The big hits during the inning were sophomore Travis Cunningham’s RBI double and Chris Brown’s RBI single. Brown finished the second game 4 for 5, making him 8 for 10 for the doubleheader 5 RBI. Cunningham went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a double. Howard also went 2 for 3 with a stolen base.
Although the offensive performance of the team was impressive, the stars of game two were the three pitchers who combined for the no-hitter. Right hander Troy Beall started the game and worked an efficient two innings of work to pick up the win. Left hander Tony Korson followed by pitching an impressive three innings that were highlighted by five strikeouts. It was around this time that a few of the Eagles realized that something special was happening. Of course nothing was said out loud that could possibly curse the completion of this great achievement.
Right hander Clint Montgomery came on to pitch the sixth inning and things would get interesting. After allowing a runner to reach base on an error and walking another, the pressure was on as Montgomery got one out away from ending the game. Cougar second baseman Jeremy Milton came to plate and hit a soft chopper just over the head of Montgomery. What looked like a definite infield hit was then quickly scooped up by shortstop Patrick Stubbe and picked out of the dirt by Brown to end the ballgame and secure the no-hitter.
Taking the loss for the Cougars was Eric Hill who gave up 5 hits and 4 earned runs over one inning while striking out two.
The Eagles (8-3) will play at St. Leo University (DH) on Saturday starting at 12:00 pm.