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Eagles Take Two from Fighting Camels
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Zach Maxfield reached base safely in all ten trips to the plate, collecting nine hits including two doubles and two home runs, scored seven times, and drove in eight runs to lead the Eagles offense as they scored 30 runs on the day. FGCU took game one by a score of 14-10 and completed the doubleheader sweep with a 16-8 victory in the nightcap.
In game one, the action began in the top of the second inning as FGCU’s Joe Guarnaccia (Davie, Fla.) threw out Josh Holskey (Roanoke, Va.) as he was trying to score on a single to shallow left field. Holskey was thrown out by three steps to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
In the bottom of the second, with the momentum on their side, FGCU”s Mikel Alvarez led off with an opposite field single to left. Bobby Greene (Cape Coral, Fla.) reached base two batters later after hitting a groundball that bounced over the third baseman’s head and into left field. Josh Chester (St. Petersburg, Fla.) drove in Alvarez with an RBI double to left field to get FGCU on the scoreboard. With a 2-2 count and one out, Zach Maxfield (Northport, Fla.) singled up the middle and increased the Eagles lead to 3-0. Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) would tack on another run as Guarnaccia scored from first on another double to the fence.
With two outs in the top of the third, the Fighting Camels would score two runs after a single up the middle and home run that barely stayed fair down the right field line, by pitcher Ryan Hamme (Wilmington, N.C.).
Maxfield led off the fourth inning for the Eagles with a towering first pitch homerun over the left field fence to extend the lead to 5-2. After a single, bunt, passed ball, and error by the second baseman, Guarnaccia would cross the plate tacking on another run for the Eagles.
The Eagles would chase Hamme from the game in the fifth inning after Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) singled to right to lead off the inning. Roberts would score with two outs on a Maxfield double to right, his fourth RBI of the game. The Eagles would add to their lead following a Guarnaccia single to center that allowed Maxfield to cross the plate safely. After five innings of play, the score was FGCU 8, Campbell 2.
Campbell would cut into the lead during the top of the sixth after Zach Johnson’s (Smithfield, N.C.) RBI double down the left field line. The Camels finally got to pitcher Derek Shaw (New Port Richey, Fla.) cutting the lead in half scoring three runs on two hits.
One inning later the Camels would score another run making the score 8-6 after Brian Gana (Richland, Wash.) delivered a two out RBI single just over the outstretched glove of Wickens at shortstop.
The Eagles would respond with three runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Greene and Chester drew back to back walks and were driven in by Maxfield’s three run home run to left center, giving Zach 7 RBIs in the game.
Eagle reliever Trent Landa (Jacksonville, Fla.) walked the first two batters in the eighth and then gave up an RBI hit to left center. The Camels drew closer as the score became 11-7. Coach Dave Tollett went to the bullpen and called upon senior Nick Ursitti (Lehigh Acres, Fla.). The first batter he face, Kevin Nelson (Sunrise, Fla.), singled over the third baseman’s head loading the bases with nobody out. A sacrifice fly would allow the runner at third to come home making the score 11-8. A single by Ellis Lowe (San Diego, Ca.) loaded the bases again for the Camels. With one out, Hamme drove a sacrifice fly to left center bringing Campbell within two. Ursitti would hit the next batter loading the bases yet again for the Camels. A dribbler to first base fielded by the pitcher and taken to the bag himself would end Campbell’s threat in the eighth.
Once again, FGCU answered right back in the bottom of the inning as Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) reached third base after the left fielder dropped his pop fly. Roberson would score one pitch later on a wild pitch that reached the backstop. After an Alvarez walk and Roberts bunt single, Greene went down looking for the first out of the inning. After the runners advanced on a passed ball, Chester would drive a sacrifice fly to left field allowing Roberson to score from third. Maxfield would drive in his eighth run of the game with an RBI single back up the middle. The Eagles would head into the ninth with a five run lead.
The Camels would tack on a run in the ninth, but Ursitti settled to retire the side and earn his second save in as many chances. Derek Shaw pitched six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits, while striking out seven, evening his record at 1-1. Ryan Hamme allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits over four innings to take the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the year.
The Eagles picked up in game two right where they left off in game one. FGCU was able to manufacture a run in the bottom of the first on a Tim Roberson sacrifice fly to right scoring Stephen Wickens.
FGCU was able to add another run in the second after Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) led off with a double off the left field fence and later scored on a passed ball. The score after 2 was FGCU 2, Campbell 0.
The Fighting Camels would tie the game up in the top of the fourth after Ryan Hamme and Zach Johnson reached base safely and catcher Stephen Parsons drove them in with a flare single over the head of FGCU’s Mikel Alvarez.
After tying the game in the fourth, Campbell scored four runs in the top of the fifth, starting with a leadoff home run from Chris Bangi. After two consecutive hits and a passed ball, runners were at second and third with one out. Sale would walk pinch hitter Brian Gana and then give up a 2-run double down the right field line to Graham Fronk (Charlotte, N.C.). After falling behind 2-0 to the next batter, Sale would walk the bases loaded. Coach Tollett would go to the pen and call on Craig Crumbly (Winter Haven, Fla.) in relief. Crumbly would record the last two outs of the inning, stopping Campbell’s rally.
FGCU would rally back to score three in their half of the fifth inning. Consecutive hits from Maxfied and Chester ignited the Eagles. Wickens drove in Maxfield on a single to left and Upchurch laid down a safety squeeze that allowed Chester to cross the plate. Roberson would continue the onslaught as he drove a double down the left field line to tack on another run for the Eagles making the score 6-5. The score after five complete innings was Campbell 6, FGCU 5.
FGCU would threaten again in the sixth with bases loaded and no outs. FGCU would tie it up after Campbell walked a run in. With bases loaded still, Wickens drove in a run with a sac fly to right as Maxfield scored the go ahead run and Chester advanced to third. After a 10 pitch at-bat, Upchurch would drive a single into right adding another run to the scoreboard. Brad Roberts would ground out to short to end the inning.
The Eagles would tack on another run in the seventh, making the score 9-3 as Maxfield scored on a Joe Guarnaccia single up the middle. After a Campbell pitching change, Chester scored on a Wickens double down the right field line. Two more runs would cross the plate on a two-run single by Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.).
FGCU pulled away late as they tacked on three more runs in the eight on a Bobby Greene (Cape Coral, Fla.) two-run home run to center. Maxfield, who was nine for nine on the day, reached base with a double down the left field line. He would eventually score on a Wickens single to right.
Freshman Jacob Barnes (St. Petersburg, Fla.) would close the game out for the Eagles. He allowed a couple runs in the ninth, but eventually recorded the 27th out, with a final score of 16-8. Craig Crumbly pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits and a walk, earning his first win of the year (1-0). Jonathan Lopez gave up four earned runs on five hits in one inning of relief work, taking the loss for the Fighting Camels, dropping his record to 1-1 on the season.
The Eagles and the Fighting Camels will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow afternoon at Swanson Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM. To watch live on A-Sun TV CLICK HERE.