Baseball Claims League Lead With DH Sweep
Saturday, March 22, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla., - The FGCU baseball team took both ends of a double-header with Mercer on Saturday night to move to 17-5 overall and 9-2 in the Atlantic Sun. Mercer fell to 9-12 and 6-5 in the league. The Eagles won game one 16-4 and won the rain-delayed second game 6-5 in the 14th inning. With the wins, the Eagles take over sole possession of first place in the A-Sun.

FGCU opened up the first inning with six runs on six hits. Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Ozzie Borrell (Hialeah, Fla.) each tripled in the inning to drive in a runs. Mercer cut into the lead in the top of the second with a one-out single by Casey Stuart. FGCU got that run back with a solo shot by Jason Peacock (Bartow, Fla.) in their half of the second.

FGCU would add four runs in the fourth and a pair in the fifth. They scored three in the sixth to take a 16-1 lead into the top of the seventh. Mercer scored three of their own for the final 16-4 score after seven innings.

Richard Bleier (Davie, Fla.,) picked up the win to move to 4-0 on the year. He gave up four runs, three earned, and struck out five batters. Borrell was 4-5 with four RBI. Josh Upchurch was also 3-4 with four runs scored and Stephen Rassell was 2-3 with four RBI in the game.

Boone Webster picked up the loss for the Bears as he fell to 2-2. Casey Stuart was 3-3 while Joe Winker was 2-4 for the Bears.

In the second game which saw a 2:13 rain delay, the Eagles won 6-5 in the 14th inning. Total game time was six hours and 20 minutes.

In the top of the third, just after the delay, Mercer struck first with a two-out triple by Joe Winker to score Tyler McCarty. The Eagles answered in their half of the inning as Stephen Wickens got hit with a pitch and a one-out double by Upchurch. An error led to a pair of runs to put FGCU up 2-1. Mike Armstrong hit a grand-slam in the fifth to put the Bears back on top.

The game took a turn for the worse in the bottom of the sixth, Jason Peacock was hit with a pitch that led to both teams spilling out onto the field as words were exchanged, no ejections were made.

The Eagles evened the score in the seventh. Graig Smith (Venice, Fla.) reached second on an error. Wickens followed with a walk and Upchurch singled to load the bases. Alvarez singled to bring in a pair of runs. Upchurch later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Rassel.

From there, Mercer would not allow a hit until the 14th inning. The Eagles eventually won with a bases loaded walk by pinch-hitter Victor Rodriguez (Cape Coral, Fla.) in the bottom of the 14th inning.

J.J. Crumbley (Tampa, Fla.) picked up the win, his third of the season. He scattered six hits and struck out six batters. Josh Lowey received the loss as he pitched 2.2 innings with four strikeouts and three walks. Upchurch was 3-5 in the game and also received a pair of intentional walks. Stephen Rassel and Ozzie Borrell were each 2-6 in the game. Tyler McCarty led the Bears with a 3-5 outing and a pair of runs scored while Mike Armstrong hit his second homer of the season.

The series will conclude tomorrow at 1:00 pm at Swanson Stadium.