FGCU Baseball Splits First Doubleheader With Stillman
TUSCALOOSA, AL – The No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tuesday for a two day, four game series with Stillman College. The Eagles split the doubleheader Tuesday, losing the first game 5-2, and winning the second 12-1. In the second game the Eagles offensive surge was led by freshman Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.) who hit for the cycle. With the split, the Eagles record is now 35-12.
In game one, sophomore J.J. Crumbley (Tampa, Fla.) picked up his first loss of the season as he drops to 3-1. Crumbley pitched six innings giving up five runs on eight hits.
A lack of offense by the Eagles allowed Stillman to steal the win in game one. The game was scoreless up until the bottom of the third inning. A two-run homer by Stillman’s Kevin Long put the first runs on the board. The Eagles cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Shawn Griffin (Hollywood, Fla.) started the Eagles fourth with a single. With two outs, freshman Pat Garrido (West Palm Beach Fla.) stepped in the box and hit an RBI single to left, cutting the lead to 2-1. Stillman added to its lead with another run in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, senior Ian Manson (Plano, Texas) hit a single that scored Upchurch from third base. That would be the end of the scoring for the Eagles as they were blanked by the Stillman pitcher. Stillman scored its final two runs in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice fly followed by an RBI single gave Stillman the 5-2 victory.
Five Eagles batters had one hit in the game. The other four batters in the lineup did not get a hit. Manson and Garrido each picked up an RBI for the Eagles.
In game two there was no lack of offense by the Eagles as they put 12 runs on the scoreboard. Freshman Richard Bleier (Plantation, Fla.) moves to one and one as a starter after picking up the win by pitching a complete game. Bleier allowed one unearned run on seven hits while striking out five Stillman batters.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead scoring two runs in the first inning. Upchurch led off the game with a triple to left center field. Sophomore Mike Cleghorn (Jacksonville, Fla.) knocked him in with a double down the right field line. Senior slugger, Jason Louwsma (Sanford, Fla.) drove in the second run with a single that scored Cleghorn from second. Stillman scored its only run of the game in the bottom half of the inning. An error and a wild pitch put Long in scoring position at third base. A slow hit grounder to the shortstop allowed Long to cross home plate and cut the Eagle lead in half.
FGCU scored two more runs in the second. A double by Upchurch scored sophomore Graig Smith (Venice, Fla.) and then a single by Louwsma scored Upchurch from second to give the Eagles a four to one lead. The Eagles added two more in the third. Junior Geoff Rottmayer (Clearwater, Fla.) led off the inning with a bomb over the left field wall. Later in the inning, Garrido scored off an RBI single by Upchurch. FGCU put two more runs on the board in the fifth when a wild pitch and a couple of errors allowed Garrido and Smith to score.
The final four runs for the Eagles came in the top of the seventh inning. After Garrido and Smith reached on a single and walk respectively, Upchurch stepped in, needing just a homerun for the cycle. Upchurch took a pitch that hung over the plate and crushed it over the fence for a three-run homer to give him the cycle. An RBI double by Manson scored Cleghorn and gave the Eagles their twelfth run of the game.
Upchurch finished the game going four for five with five RBI and three runs scored. Garrido had three hits while Cleghorn and Louwsma added two in the game. Louwsma had two RBI and Cleghorn, Manson, and Rottmayer added one for the Eagles.
The Eagles will play another doubleheader against Stillman tomorrow afternoon starting at noon. Junior Jason Kiley (Palm Harbor, Fla.) is scheduled to start game one for the Eagles with senior Troy Beall (Kissimmee, Fla.) pitching the nightcap.