FORT MYERS, Fla. – Brad Roberts’ two-out double in the eighth gave the Eagles the first 2009 Division I win in the nation. FGCU (1-0) is now 7-1 in their season openers with the 4-3 win over Central Michigan at Swanson Stadium for the FGCU Invitational sponsored by La Quinta Inn & Suites.
Patrick Nathanson (Maitland, Fla.) received the win for the Eagles, while the Steve Teno received the loss after going seven plus innings.
The Eagles would jump ahead early in the bottom of the first after a lead-off single up the middle from senior Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.). Shortstop Stephen Wickens (Whitoy, Ontario) also answered with a single through the left side. After Upchurch stole third, junior Josh Chester (Weston, Fla.) drove in Upchurch on a Sacrifice fly to center to give the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.
That lead would not hold as the Chippewas answered with two of their own in the top of the third. Ricky Clark singled through the left side to score both William Arnold and Andrew Thomas to put the Chippewas ahead 2-1.
The Chippewas added one more in the top of the fifth on a single off the bat of Billy Anderson to score Andrew Thomas to increase their lead to 3-1.
With runners on first and third in the bottom of the fifth, Mikel Avarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) laid down a sacrifice bunt down the first baseline to score Upchurch to pull the Eagles within one.
In the bottom of the eighth Alvarez led off the inning with a single, followed by a hit-by-pitch from Chester. With the go ahead run at first, junior Brad Roberts tripled to the right center gap to put the Eagles up 4-3 going into the ninth.
Senior right-hander Derek Shaw (New Port Richey, Fla.) came in and shut the door by punching out two batters in the bottom of the ninth.
“We had some great opportunities and we finally came through,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “We had some big hits and our pitching kept us in the game. “
Pete Woodworth (St.Petersburg, Fla.) got the start for the Eagles and went six full innings, fanning seven hitters and allowed three runs. Patrick Nathanson (Maitland, Fla.) received the win, throwing two innings with strike outs, while Derek Shaw received the save in the Eagles 4-3 win.
On the night Josh Upchurch went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, Stephen Wickens finished 2-for-3, Mikel Alvarez was 1-for-2 with an RBI, Josh Chester was also 1-for-2 with an RBI, and Brad Roberts went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s.
The Eagles will back in action tonight Feb. 20th to face Central Michigan at 8:00 pm in the FGCU Invitational.