FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team lost to Bethune-Cookman Sunday afternoon 6-1 in the final day of the FGCU Classic sponsored by Comfort Inn & Suites.
Bethune-Cookman began the scoring in the top of the first when Alejandro Jimenez (San Juan, P.R.) drove a 1-1 offering back up the middle to drive in Jairo Acevedo (Miami, Fla.) to go up 1-0.
Three consecutive doubles in the top of the second by Vincent Castro (Orlando, Fla.),Peter O’Brien (Miami Gardens, Fla.) and Alejandro Sanchez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) added two more runs making the score 3-0. After a two out walk by Eagles pitcher Riche Erath (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Acevedo grounded out to third to end the inning.
In the top half of the third, Jimenez pulled his second hit of the day past the first baseman and was followed by Ryan Durrence’s (Jacksonville, Fla.) single to left to make it first and second with nobody out. After two failed bunt attempts, Justin Hoyte (Orlando, Fla.) was hit by the pitch to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Emmanuel Castro (Caguas, P.R.) would bring home Jimenez to increase the Wildcats lead to 4-0. O’Brien drove a single into left two pitches later to make the score 5-0. Sanchez reached first on a bunt to third loading the bases. Hoyte would be tagged out at the plate after a failed squeeze attempt by Patrick Jones (Indianapolis, In.). Jones would pop the next pitch up the shortstop to end the Wildcat threat.
After retiring the Wildcats in order in the fourth, the Eagles would get on the board scoring one run on one hit. Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) walked on four straight pitches and was follow by a hit-by-pitch that sent Josh Chester (St. Petersburg, Fla.) to first. Sophomore Zach Maxfield (Northport, Fla.) drove in the first and only run of the game for the Eagles with a shot to right center scoring Roberts.
Bethune-Cookman would answer right back scoring another run in the fifth making the score 6-1. Durrence led off with a double down the left field line and two batters later would be driven in by E. Castro’s RBI single up the middle.
FGCU sophomore Trent Landa (Jacksonville, Fla.) replaced Erath for the Eagles in the sixth and gave the Eagles a chance as he retired all nine batters that he faced. Landa threw three innings of hitless, scoreless baseball and tallied five strikeouts along the way.
The Eagles drop to 4-4 on the season; Erath’s record falls to 0-1. Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) was held hitless for the first time this season, however he did reach base safely extending his streak to 8 games.
The Eagles will be back in action Tuesday, March 3rd at 6 p.m. as they host Boston College at Swanson Stadium.