FORT MYERS, Fla. - Four Eagle errors cost the No. 28 FGCU Baseball team their first loss of the 2010 season as they dropped game one of the four-game set with Sacred Heart on Friday night at Swanson Stadium, 6-3. FGCU starter Chris Sale threw five complete innings and allowed two runs (unearned) and struck out six.
With the loss, FGCU falls to 3-1 on the season and Sacred Heart moves to 1-0.
In his second start of the season, Sale (Lakeland, Fla.) threw five complete innings and recording six strikeouts in the no decision. Sale allowed three hits. Jason Forjet (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) picked up his first loss of the season (1-1). Forjet struck out four but allowed three hits and two earned runs.
Mike Korevec earned the win for Sacred Heart. Korevec had three strikeouts, and allowed only one FGCU hit in 2.0 innings of work.
Sacred Heart jumped out to the early lead in the top of the first inning. After a leadoff walk and back-to-back FGCU errors, the Pioneers pushed two unearned runs across the plate.
FGCU responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) and Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) reached on singles to start the Eagles half of the inning. After a strikeout by Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.) stepped up to the plate with one out and laced a 2-2 pitch into the right center gap bringing home Wickens and Alvarez to tie the game at two.
Sacred Heart threatened again, loading the bases in both the second and third inning. FGCU was able to work out of the jams to keep the game tied at two.
The Eagles took their first and only lead of the contest in the bottom of the third inning. Roberson led off the inning with a single to left field and Maxfield followed with a walk on five pitches. With runners on first and second, the Pioneers received some help as Josh Chester (West Palm Beach, Fla.) hit into a 6-3 double play, which allowed Roberson to advance to third. With two outs, Austin Gaines (Dunedin, Fla.) sent a 3-2 pitch in the right center gap that scored Roberson and put the Eagles up 3-2.
FGCU held on to the 3-2 lead until the top of the six where Sacred Heart pushed one run across the plate to tie game once again. A two-out triple by Hunter Phillips scored JJ Edwards, who reached earlier on walk (3-3).
From there, the Eagles were only able to record one hit for the remainder of the game with Sacred Heart taking the lead in the eighth inning. Rocco Gondek sent a RBI single to center field that scored Jonathan Servilla that put the Pioneers up 4-3.
Sacred Heart added two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth. A sacrifice fly by Jeff Heppner and an RBI single by John Murphy plated the two runs (6-3) and the Eagles went down quietly in the bottom half of the ninth, dropping their first game of the season.
Alvarez and Wickens led the Eagles offensively, as both went 2-for-5 with one run scored.
The Eagles land back at home on Saturday, Feb. 27 for games two and three of the four-game series with Sacred Heart. The start times for the Saturday doubleheader against the Pioneers have been changed. The first game will now start at 11:00 a.m. with game two beginning at 6:00 p.m.