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FGCU Comes Up Short Against Boston College
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Craig Crumbly (Winter Haven, Fla.) started for the first time this season as the Eagles of FGCU faced off against the Eagles of Boston College. Crumbly ran into trouble in the top of the first as Robbie Anston (Odessa, Fla.) flared a double down the left field line to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Tony Sanchez (Miami, Fla.) lined an RBI single to left field that propelled Boston College up 1-0.
FGCU would quickly tie the game and then take the lead in the bottom of the first after Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) singled to left allowing Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) to score from second. Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) would be work a walk with a 9 pitch at-bat advancing Alvarez to second. Three pitches later, Josh Chester (St. Petersburg, Fla.) drove a single back up the middle driving in the second two-out run of the inning.
FGCU would threaten again in the second inning after back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.) moved the runners to second and third, a high chopper to the left side of the infield by Wickens would allow FGCU to tack on another run extending their lead to 3-1.
After Crumbly held Boston College at bay for the second straight inning, BC pitcher Kevin Moran (Yarmouthport, Mass.) would walk the first two hitters before being taken out of the game in the third. FGCU would eventually ground into an inning ending double play.
Boston College would add a run in the fourth after Sanchez lead off with a single to right center. Sanchez would advance from first to third on an error by the shortstop. With runners on first and third, FGCU would turn a double play to clear the bases with two outs; Sanchez would cross the plate making the score 3-2.
BC would mount a two-out rally in the fifth as Mike Sudol (Franklin, N.J.) reached base on a two-out walk. Anston would make it second and third after he pulled a double down the right field line. With two on and two out, Brad Zapenus (Richmond, Va.) would ground out to shortstop allowing FGCU to end the inning.
After Boston College led off the top of the seventh with a walk, the middle infield for FGCU turned an amazing double play in which Alvarez dove to his backhand side, glove flipped it to Wickens who bare-handed it and threw a rocket to first in time to get the second out of the inning. Boston College would leave two stranded after Zapenus flew out to center to end the top half of the seventh.
After FGCU’s Trent Landa (Jacksonville, Fla.) began the eighth by throwing six straight balls, he recorded the first out of the inning after fielding a bunt and throwing out the lead runner at second. He would get the next batter, BC’s Mike Belfiore (Commack, N.Y.) to hit a pop-up to Upchurch in center for the second out. With two outs, Barry Butera (Covington, La.) got jammed and fisted a single over the shortstop’s head to extend the inning. Two pitches later, Boston College would take the lead for the first time since the beginning of the game after Garrett Smith (Sterling, Mass.) drove a fastball, just past a diving Upchurch, to the center field wall allowing both Mickey Wisewall (Stoneham, Mass.) and Butera to score easily. Freshman Jacob Barnes (St. Petersburg, Fla.) would relieve Landa for FGCU and record the third out of the inning. BC would maintain a one-run lead heading into the ninth inning.
In the ninth, after a leadoff walk and double down the left field line by Anston, Boston College had second and third with nobody out. Sophomore CJ Stallings (Northport, Fla.) would relieve Barnes for FGCU and inherit the second and third, no out situation. After walking the first batter he faced to load the bases, Sanchez would strike out on three pitches leaving the bases loaded with one out. BC’s Wisewall would drive a two RBI double down the right field line extending the lead to 6-3. A few pitches later, Zapenus would score on a wild pitch by Stallings, extending the lead to 7-3. BC would have first and third, one out after Stalling hit Belfiore. FGCU would escape further damage by turning a 3-6-1 double play to end the top of the ninth.
Belfiore would switch from first baseman to pitcher for BC in the bottom of the ninth and after retiring Chester, allowed Bobby Greene (Cape Coral, Fla.) to single to right. FGCU would have runners at first and second after a one out walk. Freshman Joe Guarnaccia (Davie, Fla.) would beat out an infield single to load the bases for FGCU. Upchurch then struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. Wickens would drive in a run, making the score 7-4, with another infield single just out of the reach of the third baseman. Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) would drive in two more runs with a 2-2 single back up the middle pulling FGCU within one. With a 3-2 count and the runners moving, Mikel Alvarez grounded out to the shortstop to end the comeback bid by FGCU.
Senior Matt O’Brien (Higham, Mass.) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to pick up his first win of the season for Boston College. Sophomore Trent Landa (Jacksonville, Fla.) was handed the tough-luck loss, allowing two runs on five hits in an inning and two-thirds of relief.
FGCU and Boston College will close out their two-game series tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. at Swanson Stadium.