STILLWATER, Okla. - The FGCU baseball team jumped out to an early two run lead on Oklahoma State Tuesday night in Stillwater, Okla., but the Cowboys used a four-run second inning to top the Eagles 5-3.
The Eagles drop to 14-9 on the season, while OSU improves to 15-6.
Kevin Bryant (Homestead, Fla.) received his first start of the season. Bryant (0-1) worked five full innings, allowed five runs (five earned) on seven hits and struck out one in his first loss of the season. Jacob Barnes (St. Petersburg, Fla.) saw three innings in relief and held the Cowboys hitless, while striking out one batter.
Andrew Heaney picked up the win for Oklahoma State. Heaney (2-0) threw seven innings and gave up two runs (two earned), while fanning eight batters.
Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario) got the Eagles going early with a leadoff double in the left center gap to start the first inning. Cowboys’ starting pitcher Heaney was able to retire the next two FGCU batters to bring up Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.). Maxfield ran the count full and blasted a homer, his third of the season, to left field to put the Eagles up 2-0.
Oklahoma State plated four runs in the bottom of the second, all with two outs to gain their first lead of the night. FGCU’s Bryant got Mark Ginther to groundout to Wickens, and after a walk, the Eagles recorded the second out of the inning on a fielder’s choice. With two outs and a runner on first, Oklahoma State used RBI doubles by Dane Phillips and Kevin Chambers, and RBI singles by Dusty Harvard and Davis Duren to take the 4-2 lead.
The Blue and Green were held hitless until Luke Smierciak (Gainesville, Fla.) singled through the right side to lead off the fifth inning. Once again, Heaney was able to work out of a jam and retire the next three FGCU batters to get out of the inning.
The Cowboys added another run in the bottom of the fifth. Kevin David doubled to left field and later scored on an RBI single to left by Ginther, which gave the Cowboys a 5-2 lead.
Wickens sparked the Eagles half of the eighth after being hit with a 3-2 pitch and immediately stealing second base. With a full count, Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) singled to center field, advancing Wickens to third. Wickens later scored on a failed pickoff attempt to cut the Cowboys lead to 5-3.
The Eagles would go down quietly in the ninth. Austin Gaines (Dunedin, Fla.) and Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario) both struck out and Luke Smierciak (Gainesville, Fla.) grounded out to the pitcher as the Eagles dropped the first game of the two-game series with Oklahoma State, 5-3.
Maxfield led the Eagles offensively, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and one run scored. Wickens, Alvarez and Smierciak each recorded one hit on the night as the Eagles were held to only five hits as a team, their lowest hit total of the season. The Blue and Green’s three runs in the game also tied a season low.
Oklahoma State collected seven hits, off the bat of seven different players, on the night.
FGCU wraps up the two-game set Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CST time at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater Okla.