FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore outfielder Kevin Burns singled home junior Eric Cox in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Florida Gulf Coast University a 4-3 win over Saginaw Valley State at the FGCU Baseball Complex Sunday night.
The Eagles, who have won five straight, improve to 9-3 on the spring. Saginaw Valley drops to 1-2 on their spring trip.
With the score tied at 3-3, the first three hitters in the ninth reached safely for the Eagles. Cox (Sayville, NY) was hit by Cardinals reliever Jeff Schulz to start the inning. After a Jason Cooper (Bradenton, FL) walk, freshman Shawn Griffin reached safely on a bunt single to set the stage for Burns.
Saginaw Valley had scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh for a 3-2 lead. But FGCU tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Cooper doubled home Cox, who had pinch-run for designated hitter Mike Matthews (Venice, FL) after Matthews lined a one-out single to right field.
Junior right-hander Nick Perez (Cooper City, FL), the third FGCU pitcher, picked up his first win after coming on in the top of the ninth with the go-ahead run at third and retiring the final two batters of the inning. Sophomore Jason Kiley (Palm Harbor, FL) scattered eight hits in the first seven innings for FGCU, striking out 10 and walking three while allowing three earned runs.
Junior shortstop Jason Louwsma (Sanford, FL) and sophomore second baseman Derek Mollica (Boca Raton, FL) paced the Eagles nine-hit attack with two hits each.
FGCU continues its eight-game homestand with a 7 p.m. game Monday night against Gannon University at 7 p.m.