Eagles Split Doubleheader with Mt. Vernon Nazarene
Fort Myers, FL – In two excellent games that were dominated by the pitching, FGCU and Mt. Vernon Nazarene split a doubleheader. The Eagles are now 25-11 on the season.
The first game was a pitching duel from the beginning between Jason Kiley of FGCU and Nick Schwartz of Mt. Vernon Nazarene. The pitchers matched each other inning for inning, as neither team was able to score until the bottom of the sixth.
Chris Brown led off the Eagle sixth with a single up the middle and Mike Howard bunted him over to second base. It was Howard’s second sacrifice of the game. Mike Mathews followed with an infield single to the right side that left the Eagles with runners at first and third with only one out. Chris Perry then had the deciding at bat of the game with a perfect suicide squeeze to the right side that scored Brown and gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The game was not over however as the Cougars put together a rally of their own in the top of the seventh. Justin Clarey led off with a deep double to left field and Carl Langley followed with a sharp single to left that looked like it would tie the ballgame.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, Eagles left fielder Patrick Stubbe came up throwing and nailed Clarey at the plate with a picture perfect one hop throw. Kiley hit the next batter to put runners on first and second and when Andrew Thompson singled the bases were loaded with only one out.
The Eagles then brought in Chris Cahill to pitch and on the first pitch he induced a game ending double play, Cahil to Cooper to Mathews.
Kiley again threw a great ball game going six and one third innings. Kiley (4-2) gave up no runs on seven hits while striking out eight. With only one pitch Cahill picked up his second save of the season.
Travis Cunningham and Chris Brown led the way offensively for the Eagles with two hits apiece.
The second game was another pitching duel with runs being hard to come by. With the score tied at one, the Cougars scored a run in both the fifth and sixth innings.
The fifth began with a single by Andrew Thompson, who was promptly bunted over to second by Ray McFarren. Tim Martini then layed down a perfect bunt for a hit down the third base line to leave runners at first and third with no one out. Kyle Peters then delivered the big blow with another excellent bunt for a hit that scored Thompson and made the score 2-1.
In the sixth the Cougars pushed their lead to 3-1 by taking advantage of an Eagle error and a big hit. With one out Justin Clarey reached on an error by Kip Perry and Chris Langley drove him in with a double over the left fielder’s head.
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Eagles were able to load the bases but the rally fell short when Chris Brown flew out to deep right center to end the game.
Taking the hard luck loss for the Eagles was starter Jason Short, who went all seven innings. Short gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits while striking out eight.
The Eagles (25-11) will play a doubleheader Thursday vs. William Woods starting at 4:00 pm.