MACON, Ga. – The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team fell to Mercer in game one of the three game weekend series, 9-7, Friday night at Claude Smith Field.
The Eagles fall to 15-14 (8-5 A-Sun), while the Bears improve to 10-12 (5-5 A-Sun) on the season.
The win is also Mercer’s first-ever win against FGCU as the Eagles swept the Bears in three-game set last season in the two teams’ only meeting.
Craig Crumbly (Winter Haven, Fla.) received the loss. Crumbly threw 1.2 innings of relief, allowed four runs on four hits. The Bears Blake Mainor earned his third win of the season.
The Eagles took an early lead, scoring one in the first on a home run to left field by Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.).
The Bears answered in the bottom of the second with one run to tie the game at one.
The Eagles would take the lead again in the third with two runs. Josh Chester (Weston, Fla.) leadoff the third with a double down the right field line. After a sacrifice bunt, Upchurch sent a single through the right side to score Chester. With two out in the inning, Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.) drove in Upchurch to increase the Eagles lead to 3-1.
The Bears plated another run in the bottom of the fifth, on three straight singles.
The Eagles added another run in the fifth after Upchurch leadoff the inning with a single and was later brought home on an RBI fielder’s choice by Maxfield.
The Bears scored two in the bottom of the sixth to even the score at four.
The Eagles took the lead for the third time in the seventh, Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) hit a one-out solo home run followed by a single up the middle by Maxfield. With two outs and two Eagles on base, Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) singled to left field to score Maxfield.
The Bears stole the lead again in the seventh with three runs, courtesy of an Eagle error.
The Eagles would even the score with another run in the eighth to bring the score to 7-7. Upchurch reached for his fourth time of the game to lead off the inning. Roberson drove in Upchurch with a single through the right side.
With the score tied at seven, two outs, and one runner on base, Michael Langley homered to left field to give the Bears the 9-7 lead after eight innings of play.
The Eagles would strand one runner in ninth, and fall to Mercer for the first time.
Upchurch went 3-for-4 with four runs scored, one home run and two RBI, Roberson also hit a home run and finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, Maxfield combined for a 2-for-5 night with two RBI and a run scored, and Josh Chester went 2-for-5 with a run scored.
The Eagles face Mercer in game two of the weekend series on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.