Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Barry
by Matt Collver
MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – No. 9 Florida Gulf Coast University split a doubleheader against Barry in South Region action on Saturday. FGCU lost the weekend series two games to one.
The Eagles freshmen proved to be the difference in the first game today as FGCU pulled off the comeback victory. Game one lasted four hours and it took 12 innings for the Eagles to pick up the 8-7 victory over the Bucs.
In the second game the Eagles had a hard time stopping the offensive surge of Barry as they were defeated by a score of 11-5. The Eagles record is now 28-9 this season.
In the opener, junior right-hander Jason Kiley (Palm Harbor, Fla.) did not have his best outing as he didn’t make it out of the third inning. He went two innings giving up six runs on six hits including a two-run homer to Nick Corbeil. Barry jumped out to an early lead when they scored five runs in the second. The runs came off of Corbeil’s two-run jack and an RBI from Bobby Hartney, Jerry Thornton, and Andrew Frezza.
Sophomore J.J. Crumbley (Tampa, Fla.) took over in relief for Kiley in the third inning. Crumbley pitched five solid innings giving up six hits with no earned runs or walks. Barry scored two more runs in the third that were charged to Kiley. At this point Barry led the game 7-1.
The Eagles bats finally came alive in the top of the seventh inning. FGCU would bat around through the order scoring five runs to cut the deficit to one run. Sophomore Mike Cleghorn (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached first base on an error by Barry’s second baseman, Brett Rossi. On the same play freshman Josh Upchurch, (Cape Coral, Fla.) who earlier reached on a fielder’s choice, was able to score. Senior Jason Louwsma (Sanford, Fla.) stepped in the batter’s box only to be plunked by the Barry pitcher. With two runners on, senior Ian Manson (Plano, Texas) ripped a double to left center that scored Upchurch and Louwsma. Junior Derek Mollica (Boca Raton, Fla.) drew the walk and took first base. Freshman Casey Coleman (Cape Coral, Fla.) came up and hit an infield single to load the bases. Then, junior Travis Cunningham (Coral Springs, Fla.) singled through the right side scoring Mollica and Manson to end the scoring burst for the Eagles.
Senior Ryan Williams (Fort Myers, Fla.) came in the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Williams pitched two and one third innings only giving up a single while striking out three Barry hitters.
In the ninth inning, the Eagles were down to their last out as Coleman stepped up to the plate. Coleman crushed the ball over the center field wall to tie the game for the Eagles. The solo-jack is Coleman’s first career homerun. Williams blanked Barry in the bottom half of the inning to send the game into extra innings.
Junior Matt Laliberte (New Port Richey, Fla.) entered the game in the bottom of the tenth with one down and runners on second and third. Laliberte walked Barry’s Andrew Frezza to load the bases. Buccaneers slugger Orestes Gonzalez stepped up to the plate and hit a hard grounder to third base. Louwsma fielded the ball on a tough hop, touched third base, and rifled the ball to Manson at first to get the inning ending double play.
Upchurch led the 12th inning off with the game winning homerun over the right center field wall, for his second homer of the year. The Eagles now held an 8-7 lead going into the bottom of the twelfth.
Coleman left his original position of second base to take the mound for the Eagles in the bottom of the inning. He pitched a one, two, three inning to close out the game for the Eagles and earn his second save of the season.
Four Eagle batters had two hits in game one while freshman Pat Garrido (West Palm Beach, Fla.) went three for six. Manson had three RBI and Cunningham knocked in two. Upchurch and Cunningham both had an RBI with their solo shots.
Junior Chris Hassen (Port Charlotte, Fla.) started game two for FGCU only to leave the game due to injury after the first inning. Senior Troy Beall (Kissimmee, Fla.) came in the second to pitch to Barry. Freshmen Richard Bleier (Plantation, Fla.), Jordan Fischer (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), and sophomore J.J. Crumbley (Tampa, Fla.) also saw action on the mound for FGCU.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard early in game two. In the first inning Upchurch started the game with a double to left field. Clean-up hitter Ian Manson singled to right field scoring Upchurch. Barry came back in the bottom half and tied the game when Orestes Gonzales hit an RBI single.
After a scoreless second, Louwsma led off the third inning for the Eagles with a hard hit double to right center. Ian Manson moved Louwsma to third with a single that squeezed through the infield. Designated hitter Derek Mollica hit into a double play but Louwsma was able to score on the play. The Eagles took the lead 2-1.
FGCU added to its lead in the fourth with one run. The lead wouldn’t last long as Barry came out swinging in the bottom of the inning to score seven runs. Two homeruns and a 2 RBI double gave Barry an 8-3 lead.
Barry scored another run in the bottom of the fifth, increasing their lead to 9-3. The Eagles would score two runs off of RBI singles from Upchurch and Louwsma in the top of the sixth cutting the deficit to four runs. The Buccaneers Gonzalez hit a two-run shot over the left center field wall. With the additional two insurance runs the score now stood at 11-5. The score would not change as the Eagle hitters were retired in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Upchurch and Manson both went three for four with one RBI each in game two. Louwsma added two hits including an RBI double giving him 21 two baggers on the season. Cunningham also added an RBI in the game.
The Eagles head to Boca Raton, Fla. Tuesday to face South Region opponent Lynn University at 3 p.m.