FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU baseball team earned their sixth conference victory of the season in an 11-1 rout of the Kennesaw State Owls on Friday evening. In game one of the series, junior lefty Chris Sale (Lakeland, Fla.) went eight innings on the mound and sat down seven batters.
With the win, FGCU moves to 13-7 (6-1 A-Sun) as Kennesaw State drops to 9-14 (1-3 A-Sun)
FGCU starter Chris Sale improved his record to 3-0 on the season. Sale threw eight complete innings, allowed 10 hits, one run (earned) and struck out seven batters.
Ryan Rodebaugh received the loss for Kennesaw State to drop his record to 1-3 on the season. Rodebaugh pitched five complete innings, allowed 11 hits, gave up six runs (six earned), whiling striking out six.
The Eagles threatened in the bottom half of the first, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) led off the inning with a single to left field, and stole second before Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) walked on six pitches. Kennesaw State’s Rodebaugh struck out the next two Eagles batters and induced a groundout to short from Austin Gaines (Dunedin, Fla.) to end the FGCU threat.
In the bottom of the second, FGCU once again stranded two runners. Luke Smierciak (Gainesville, Fla.) sent a two-out single through the left side and Josh Chester (Westin, Fla.) followed with a double that advanced Smeirciak to third. Rodebaugh escaped again, this time getting Wickens to lineout to center field.
The Eagles pushed five runs across the plate in the bottom half of the third. Alvarez laced a double over the center fielders head to lead off the inning. Just one pitch later, Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.) laid into a first pitch fastball to record his fifth home run of the season and put the Eagles up 2-0. Four pitches later, Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.) doubled to right center and Gaines followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Mike Reeves (Peterborourgh, Ontario) singled off the pitchers cleat to plate Maxfield. With runners at the corners, Kurtis Mullaney (Jacksonville, Fla.) brought in Gaines on a sacrifice fly to right, and Chester singled to scored Reeves on a two-out single to put the Eagles up 5-0.
The Owls got on the board in the top of the fourth. Tyler Stubblefield led off the inning with a double down the right field line to start the inning. Stubblefield later stole third and scored on a single by Josh Whitaker.
FGCU added another run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-1 lead. Mullaney got things going with a one-out single to right and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Smieriack. Chester stepped up again with two-out single up the middle that scored Mullaney.
The Blue and Green would add five more runs in the bottom of the eighth to extend their lead to 11-1, which is where the score would stand. Chester recorded his fourth hit of the night with a double to center to lead off the inning, and Wickens followed with a double of his own that scored Chester. With two outs, Gaines singled to left field to score Wickens, and Mullaney singled to right to bring home Gaines and Maxfield.
The Eagles were led offensively by Chester who finished the night a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Reeves finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Three other Eagles finished with two hits, Mullaney finished 2-for-4 with one run scored and three RBI, Roberson went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI, and Wickens went 2-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI.
The Owls were led by McClurken who went a perfect 3-for-3.
In the game, FGCU scored eight of their 11 runs with two outs and the Eagles also collected 17 hits on the night. The Owls scattered 10 hits in the contest and had two errors.
The Eagles will be action tomorrow as they wrap-up the three-game conference series with Kennesaw State with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.