FORT MYERS, Fla., - The Florida Gulf Coast baseball team won its first Atlantic Sun Conference series after an 8-0 win in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. FGCU freshman pitcher Richie Erath (Lake Worth, Fla.) turned in a dominant performance to pick up his second win of the year. FGCU improves to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the A-Sun while UNF falls to 3-3, 1-2 A-Sun.
"This was a great win for us, to take a team from a great team like UNF in our first conference series," said Head Coach Dave Tollett. "Erath pitched great against a very good ball club that came into the weekend hitting .370. Our guys came into today riding the momentum of last night's game."
After Erath retired the side in order in the first, Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.,) led off with a single and stolen base. The next three batters would follow suit and FGCU would bat around in the inning, taking a 4-0 lead after one.
Victor Rodriguez (Cape Coral, Fla.) singled to right with one out in the bottom of the third, prompting a pitching change for the Ospreys. Casey Coleman (Cape Coral, Fla.) doubled to drive in Rodriguez for a 5-0 Eagle lead. The Eagles added a pair of runs in the fourth off a two-run double by Jason Peacock (Bartow, Fla.).
In only his second start, Erath carried a no hitter into the seventh. Michael Smith broke up the no-hit bid with a lead-off single to start the inning. Erath would go 8.0 innings, limiting the Ospreys to a pair of hits while striking out five batters. UNF came into the series hitting .370 as a team after a series win against Mississippi State, who was ranked #23 in the preseason.
Peacock troubled the UNF pitching staff all weekend and capped off the series by going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI. During the three game set, the senior from Bartow, Fla., went 8-for-13 and drove in four.
Rodriguez and Coleman each went 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI. Rodriguez also scored a run. Stephen Rassel (Lake City, Fla.) and Ozzie Borrell (Hialeah, Fla.) each picked up a pair of hits and scored a pair of runs.
Jonathan Turner picked up the loss for the Ospreys, going 2.1 innings while allowing five runs, six hits and three walks.
Turner fell to 0-1 on the season. FGCU will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Tampa, Fla., to face USF at 7:00 pm.