TAMPA, Fla., - FGCU fell into the losers bracket after suffering a 7-6 loss to Tusculum on Friday night in the NCAA South Regional.
Tusculum scored single runs in the first and second innings. The Eagles matched the Pioneers, also scoring runs in the first and second innings. Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.) led off the game with a single and Stephen Rassel (Lake City, Fla.) reached on a bunt to give FGCU runners on first in second before a groundout by Ozzie Borrell (Hialeah, Fla.) scored the Eagles first run. Derek Mollica (Boca Raton, Fla.) led off the second with a walk and a Jason Peacock (Bartow, Fla.) singled leading up to a sac bunt by Chris Alessandria (Jacksonville, Fla.) evened the score at two all.
The Pioneers scored two runs in the third and held FGCU scoreless in the bottom of the inning. They added a run in their half of the fourth to take a 5-2 lead. The Eagles again rallied to even things up with three in the bottom of the inning. Vinnie Scarduzio (Jupiter, Fla.) led off with a triple and came home on a single by Peacock. FGCU was able to load the bases with one out before Tusculum starter Kevin Hammons walked home a run before being removed. Borrell drove in the third run of the inning with a sac fly.
FGCU was able to take the lead in the fifth, loading the bases with one out and score on a wild pitch. However, the lead was short lived as Tusculum loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning. J.J. Crumbley (Tampa, Fla.) came into the game in relief was able to force a deep fly ball that scored a run and a ground-out that scored the go-ahead run. Crumbley allowed just two hits in his four innings of action. The Eagles squandered scoring opportunities in the seventh and eighth inning and allowed Tusculum to escape with a 7-6 win.
The Eagles will face Florida Southern tomorrow morning in an elimination game at 3:00 pm.