FGCU and St. Leo University split doubleheader
St. Leo, FL – The FGCU Eagles might have played both their best and worst games of the season on the same day as they split a doubleheader at St. Leo University 13-4 and 1-17, respectively.
The first game, maybe the team’s best played game of the season, started off even as the two teams exchanged runs in the second and third innings leaving the Eagles up only 3-2. But from that point on the Eagles would methodically take the game over behind three multiple run innings and excellent pitching and defense. The first blow was struck by Senior Mike Howard whose two run double in the top of the fifth made the score 5-2. Howard would finish the game 2 for 5 with five runs batted in while also stealing two bases.
In the next inning it looked like the Eagles were going to squander a bases loaded one out opportunity when Freshman Travis Parrott delivered a clutch two out single that brought in two more runs and extended the Eagle lead to 7-2.
As the offense was building up their lead, Junior pitcher Billy Phillips was getting stronger and shutting down the Lions after giving up two early runs in the first few innings. For the game Phillips (2-1) gave up four runs and seven hits over six and two thirds innings while striking out six to get the win. Lefthander Tony Korson came in and threw two solid innings of relief to finish the ballgame.
FGCU put an exclamation point on the game with an explosive five run ninth inning. The key hits of the innings were the pair of two run home runs hit by Howard and Sophomore centerfielder Patrick Stubbe. Stubbe had a standout game at the plate as he finished 4 for 5 with two runs scored and three runs batted in.
The Lions were led offensively by third baseman Ray Horal and second baseman Derrick McNeil who both had a pair of hits for the game.
Taking the loss for the Lions was right handed starter David Koons. Koons gave up eight hits and four earned runs over four and one third innings of work while striking out none and walking one.
As well played as the first game was for the Eagles, the second game couldn’t have been much worse. The Lions would bat around in both of the first two innings and would go into the third with an immense 11-0 lead. Everything that could go wrong for Eagles starter Chris Hassen did as he gave up a couple of critical two strike hits and the defense struggled to make a handful of routine plays although they were credited with only two errors during the first two innings. By the time Hassen left in the second inning he had given up nine hits and ten earned runs, although the lack of defensive support greatly contributed to the debacle.
The offensive stars for St. Leo were Chris Germano, Ray Horal, and Jesse Alvarez. Germano and Horal both had three hits, three runs scored, and three runs batted in while Alvarez finished the game 2 for 5 with two runs scored and two runs batted in.
Taking the win for the Lions was lefthander Peter Martinez. Martinez worked six innings and only gave up seven hits and one run while striking out five.
Howard and Sophomore shortstop Rene Ruiz both contributed 2 hits a piece for the Eagles. The lone Eagle run came courtesy of a towering solo home run hit by Junior first baseman Adam Masino. The home run was his second on the season.
The second game also marked the end of an incredible achievement by Freshman Travis Parrott. Parrott had gone the entire season, or 46 at bats, before striking out for the first time in the fifth inning. This is a record that could stand for quite some time at FGCU.
The Eagles (9-4) will play vs St. Vincent (DH) on Sunday starting at 4:00 pm.