Eagles Baseball Sweeps Pair from Panthers
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Junior Chris Hassen allowed just one run in eight innings in the opener while junior Jason Kiley tossed a complete-game three-hitter in the nightcap as Florida Gulf Coast University swept Florida Tech, 7-1 and 5-1, in a Division II South Region doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium.
FGCU improves to 8-2 overall and a perfect 8-0 in regional play. Florida Tech falls to 5-5.
Hassen (Port Charlotte, Fla.) scattered five hits as he won his record 20th career game at FGCU. The right-hander struck out six and walked two to improve his record to 2-1 on the season with a 1.42 ERA. Right-hander Brett Backman took the loss for FIT.
FGCU broke open a scoreless game in the opener with four runs in the third, highlighted by a three-run homerun to right field by junior leftfielder Travis Cunningham (Coral Springs, Fla.). Cunningham added a pair of singles and scored twice. Freshman Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.) recorded his first career three-hit game, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Senior All-American Jason Louwsma (Sanford, Fla.), junior DH Robby Rotunno (Sanford, Fla.) and sophomore catcher Graig Smith (Venice, Fla.) had two hits each as the Eagles matched their season-high of 14 hits.
After giving up a walk and RBI double to the first two batters in the nightcap, Kiley (Palm Harbor, Fla.) settled down to retire 14 of the next 15 hitters. The right-hander struck out four and only allowed the leadoff walk to improve his mark to 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA.
The Eagles chased Panthers starter Mike Campbell in the third. Louwsma reached on a one-out single to right centerfield and advanced to second a passed ball. After a walk to Cunningham, Rotunno singled to tie the game 1-1. Cunningham then gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead when third baseman Bryan Stanton mishandled a groundball off the bat off Eagles second baseman Casey Coleman (Cape Coral, Fla.). FGCU would tack on two more runs in the fifth on a two-run homer to leftfield by junior Geoff Rottmayer (Clearwater, Fla.) and one more in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Mike Cleghorn (Jacksonville, Fla.).
The two teams conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Swanson Stadium.