NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team fell to Belmont courtesy of a three-run home run to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Belmont a thrilling 12-11 victory over FGCU at Shelby Park in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday.
Derek Shaw (New Port Richey, Fla.) (2-2) was charged with the loss after going 1.1 innings and giving up four runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
Freshman Matt Hamann (Northbrook, Ill.) earned the win after pitching 3.1 innings and giving up three hits on three runs. He (2-0) notched a career-high five strikeouts in the victory.
The Eagles started the scoring in the top of the first inning with three runs to take the early 3-0 lead. The inning was highlighted with a two-run home run to center field by Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.).
The Eagles would add two more runs in the top of the third inning on a two-run home run to left center by Robert Greene (Cape Coral, Fla.) to make the score 5-0 before Belmont responded.
The Bruins scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to make the score 5-3. The first run was scored on a single to the shortstop by freshman Dylan Craig (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) to plate Hamann. The Bruins next run was executed on a sacrifice fly, then a wild pitch would plate the final Bruin run in the inning.
The Eagles scored another run in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run by Greene to make the score 6-3 in favor of FGCU.
Belmont was able to score a run in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run to left center by sophomore Derek Hamblen (Plano, Texas) and make the score 6-4.
The Eagles added to their lead with two additional runs in the top of the sixth inning to increase the lead to 8-4, on back-to-back RBI singles by Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.).
Belmont began to mount its comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runs to cut the lead in half and make the score 8-6. Both runs were scored on a two-run home run to center field by senior Derek Wiley (Dublin, Calif.).
The Bruins tied the score in the bottom of the eighth inning, 8-8 with two more runs. The highlight of the inning was a two-RBI single to center field by Craig to score two Bruins.
The Eagles regain the lead, 11-8 on a three-run home run to right center by freshman Joe Guarnaccia (Davie, Fla.).For Guarnaccia, that was his first collegiate home run.
The Bruins would respond with four runs in the bottom of the ninth, all with two outs. The first run was scored on a single to left field, and then a pinch hit home run by Phillip Parsley's to give the Bruins the 12-11 victory.
Senior Brian Kelley started the game for Belmont and went 5.2 innings and gave up eight runs on 12 hits and posted one strikeout in the no-decision.
Woodworth earned the start for FGCU and went 6.1 innings and gave up six run on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts. He also received a no-decision for the contest.
Six Eagles recorded multiple hits on the night, Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.), Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario), Tim Roberson, Mikel Alvarez, Zach Maxfield, and Robert Greene each had two hits in the contest.
The Eagles will return to action on Mar. 28 against Belmont at Shelby Park starting at 1:00 pm in a doubleheader.