FORT MYERS, Fla. – George Brander belted a bases-loaded double in the top of the ninth inning as Lynn University came from behind to register a 9-8 win Tuesday afternoon over Florida Gulf Coast University in a NCAA Division II south region game at the FGCU Baseball Complex.
Lynn rallied twice in the game to win for the sixth time in seven games. The Fighting Knights out hit FGCU 16-13 and improved to 28-14. FGCU falls to 32-11. The two teams will meet in a three-game series at Lynn to end the season on May 6-7.
The Knights started the ninth inning rally with back-to-back singles by Raymond Perez and John Zagaria off FGCU freshman closer J.J. Crumbley (Tampa, Fla.) to start the inning. Crumbley (1-1), the fourth Eagles pitcher, then hit Jimmy Bacon to load the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, Brander hit the game-winner to center field to clear the bases before eventually being stranded at third base. The Eagles managed to put a runner on with one out in the ninth but could not score.
FGCU jumped out to an early 6-2 lead with two runs in each of the first three innings, highlighted by a two-run home run by junior Jason Cooper (Bradenton, Fla.) in the first inning and a two-run double in the second and a solo home run in the third by senior David Cox (Sarasota, Fla.). Lynn put four runs on the board in the fourth off FGCU starter Tony Korson to tie the game at 6-6.
Bacon was 3-for-4 with three RBI and Perez went 3-for-5 to pace the Lynn offense. Right-hander Craig Sheets (3-1), the third Lynn hurler, picked up the win with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Four players had multiple hits for the Eagles. Junior Jason Louwsma (Sanford, Fla.), Cooper, Cox and Mollica had two hits each. Cooper has now hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games. Cox had three RBI for FGCU. All nine starters had at least one hit for the Eagles.
FGCU continues its final home stand of the season with a 1 p.m. twin bill against Barry University on Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Baseball Complex.