FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team used an 11-run fifth inning to take game four of the series with Sacred Heart, 15-2, on Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium. The Eagles took three out of the four games against the Pioneers.
With the win, FGCU moves to 6-1 on the season, while Sacred Heart falls to 1-3.
Pete Woodworth (St. Petersburg, Fla.) earned his second win of the 2010 season. Woodworth threw six complete innings, allowed six hits, two runs (one earned) and struck out two.
Mike Olszyk received the loss for Sacred Heart. Olszyk threw four innings, allowing seven hits, striking out four batters, and giving up five runs (four earned) in the losing effort.
FGCU grabbed the early lead after scoring twice in the bottom of the second. Freshman Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario) got things started, drawing a leadoff walk on four straight pitches and moved to third following a one-out single up the middle by Josh Chester (Weston, Fla.). Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) gave the Eagles the lead with two outs on a single to right field that scored Reeves and gave the Blue and Green the 1-0 advantage.
FGCU’s lead was short lived as Sacred Heart evened the score in the top of the third. An FGCU error put Steve Tedesco on first base with one out. One pitch later, Chris Whittemore singled to right field and advanced Tedesco to third, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Heppner that evened the score at one apiece.
Woodworth needed just four pitches to get through the Pioneers half of the fourth inning before FGCU took their second lead of the game. The Eagles added two runs in the bottom of the fourth, as Kurtis Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached on an error by the Pioneers shortstop with one out, and Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) singled to move Mullaney into scoring position. Alvarez came up big again, this time sending a single through the right side that scored Mullaney and advanced Wickens to third. Wickens later scored on a balk by Sacred Heart’s starting pitcher Olszyk, giving the Eagles a 3-1 lead.
The Pioneers cut into the FGCU lead in the fifth, as Mike Drowne led off with a double to right field and later scored on a groundout to second base by Whittmore, bringing the score to 3-2.
The FGCU bats heated up in the bottom of the fifth as they plated 11 runs on nine hits, as 15 batters came up to the plate. Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) led off the inning with a single to center field and Reeves beat out a dribbler down the first base line. Luke Smierciak (Gainesville, Fla.) was hit by a 1-1 pitch to load the bases with no outs, prompting a Sacred Heart pitching change. Chester welcomed Pioneers reliever Mike Korevec with a single to right field that scored Roberson (4-2) but Sacred Heart’s right fielder made a great throw and nailed Reeves at the plate, recording the first out of the inning. After another hit-by-pitch loaded the bases again, Wickens sent a single to center field that plated Smierciak to score the Eagles fifth run of the game. Just two pitches later, Alvarez brought in his third and fourth RBI of the game on a single through the right side that scored both Mullaney and Chester. Austin Gaines (Dunedin, Fla.) sent a RBI single to right field and Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.) recorded his first RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly to right field that gave FGCU the 9-2 lead and prompted the second Sacred Heart pitching change of the inning.
Sacred Heart brought in James Ineson with one out and FGCU’s Gaines on first base. Ineson walked Roberson and Reeves on nine pitches before Smierciak singled, bringing in Gaines to increase the Eagles lead to 10-2. Two pitches later, Chester recorded his second and third RBI of the inning off a single to left field that scored Smierciak and Roberson, while Reeves came across on a fielding error by the left fielder. Chester later scored on a single by Mullaney that gave FGCU the 14-2 lead after five innings of play.
In the seventh inning, FGCU added another run as Mullaney recorded his second RBI of the game off a single to right center that scored Reeves, who reached previously on a single through the right side, and that’s where the score would stand (15-2) when the final out was recorded.
Offensively, FGCU was led by Chester who went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and three RBI, and Alvarez who went 3-for-5 with two stolen bases and four RBI. Four other Eagles collected multiple hits on the day, Mullaney went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, Wickens finished 3-for-6 with one RBI and two runs scored, Reeves went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and Roberson went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
The Eagles return to the diamond on Wednesday, March 3 at 6:00 p.m. for a mid-week matchup against the Wolverines of Michigan at Swanson Stadium for ‘Swingin’ at Swanson’. For ticket information, please contact the FGCU Ticket Office at 239-590-7145 or go to www.fgcuathletics.com/tickets.