Josh Upchurch went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI on his fifth home run on the season.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU baseball team entered Tuesday night’s game looking for its eighth straight win and got it after a late inning rally helped the Eagles prevail over the Owls of FAU, 7-3 at Swanson Stadium.
The Eagles improve to 30-16, which makes it the seventh straight year in which FGCU baseball has won at least 30 games, while FAU drops to 25-21 on the season.
FGCU would take an early lead scoring one run in the first inning. FGCU's leadoff hitter, Josh Upchurch (Cape Coral, Fla.), sent a 0-1 fastball over the right field fence recording his fifth homerun of the season.
In the top of the third, Colby Gratton led off the Owl half with a single to left. After a single to shallow right and a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, the Owls had men on second and third with only one out. A sac fly to left would allow one run to score and tie the game at one through two and a half innings.
One inning later, in the top of the fourth, Nick Criaris would give the Owls their first lead of the game after belting a solo homerun over the right field fence.
The Eagles would regain the lead after scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Joe Guarnaccia (Davie, Fla.) leadoff the inning with a walk and was followed by an Upchurch single to left. With first and second with one out, Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) drove in Guarnaccia for his team leading 57th RBI of the season. After Zach Maxfield (Northport, Fla.) was walked to load the bases, Upchurch would score from third on a fielder’s choice to first. The score after five innings of play was 3-2 in favor of the Eagles.
The Owls would respond and tie the game at 3 in the top half of the seventh. With one out, Nick DelGuidice would take a hanging curveball off the left field fence allowing him to reach second standing up. Three pitches later, Troy Bubley would hit an RBI single just past the diving second baseman allowing the run to score from second.
The tie ball game would not last long as the Eagles separated themselves by scoring three runs on two hits in the bottom half of the seventh. After Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) reached base on an error, the following two Eagles were walked to load the bases. Josh Chester (St. Petersburg, Fla.) would drive a two RBI single to right field extending his hitting streak to 19 games while giving the Eagles a two-run lead. Sophomore Steven Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) would add one more run with an RBI single to right extending the lead to 6-3.
The Eagles would add one more run in the bottom of the eighth on three walks and a hit-by-pitch to extend their lead to 7-3.
After hitting the first two batters of the ninth inning, Eagles Head Coach Dave Tollett would call senior Nick Ursitti (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) out of the pen to shut down the Owls. Ursitti would record the final three outs of the game giving the Eagles the victory and earning his third save of the season.
Senior Derek Shaw (New Port Richey, Fla.) earned his fourth win of the season. Shaw (4-2) threw three innings, one run (earned) on two hits, and struck out four Owls. Chris Schmitt received the loss, Schmitt (5-3) threw 0.1 innings, allowed three runs (two earned) on two Eagles hits.
Two Eagles recorded multiple hits, Upchurch finished 2-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and one RBI, while Roberson finished 2-for-4 with a runs scored and one RBI.
The Eagles will be back in action tomorrow, May 6th as they travel to Gainesville to battle in-state rival No. 9 Florida for a single game at 6:30 p.m.