NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The FGCU baseball team fell to the UNF Ospreys, 13-2, in their second game of the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship on Thursday afternoon at Lipscomb’s Dugan Field at Marsh Stadium.
Currently 39th in RPI, FGCU dropped to 38-19, while UNF improved their record to 30-27 on the season. The Eagles, who had not lost to the Ospreys since March 1, 2008, are now 8-3 all-time against North Florida.
Junior Richie Erath (West Palm Beach, Fla.) took the bump in FGCU’s second game of the tournament. The right hander pitched just 3.0 innings and allowed seven runs (seven earned) on eight hits to go with three strikeouts, falling to 7-4 on the year. Sophomore Jacob Barnes (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and freshman R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla.) came in to pitch the final 5.0 innings in relief.
George Lott (7-3) picked up the win for the Ospreys after allowing two runs (two earned) on eight hits and a pair of strikeouts in 9.0 innings.
UNF, who came into Thursday’s matchup having lost their last six contests, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. After Justin Preckajlo reached on a fielder’s choice and Preston Hale singled through the right side, David Eldredge slapped a single to left field to score Preckajlo (1-0). T.J. Thompson then singled to right field plating Hale from third base (2-0).
FGCU was able to score a run in the top of the third as Joe Guarnaccia (Weston,Fla.) sent a 0-0 pitch over the fence in left field (2-1). The homer was Guarnaccia’s third of the season.
Exploding for five runs on four hits in the bottom of the third frame, highlighted by a solo homer from Hale and a 3-run bomb by Corey Bass, the Ospreys pushed the score to 7-1.
UNF added to their 6-run lead in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. Preckajlo sent a 0-1 pitch over the fence in left center field (8-1) in the fourth and Sam Perry singled up the middle to plate Michael Smith (9-1) in the fifth frame.
Following walks by junior Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and senior Josh Chester (Weston, Fla.), junior Austin Gaines (Dunedin, Fla.) sent a line drive double to right field, allowing Alvarez enough time to cross the plate and cut the UNF lead down to seven runs (9-2).
In the home half of the eighth inning, the Ospreys added four runs on five hits (all singles) to take a 13-2 lead.
FGCU would be held scoreless in their final chance at the plate as UNF went on to claim the victory, 13-2.
Registering two runs on eight hits in the contest, the Blue and Green were led offensively by Guarnaccia’s 3-for-4, performance. Guarnaccia finished with a run scored and an RBI to go with his third home run of the 2010 campaign. Alvarez went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Gaines batted 1-for-4 with an RBI.
The Ospreys scored their 13 runs off 19 hits on the day.
The Eagles will be back in action Friday, May 28 as they take on No. 3 ETSU at 11:00 a.m. CT (12:00 p.m. ET). If the Blue and Green are victorious in the 11:00 am contest, they will take on No. 2 Mercer on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. CT (8:00 p.m. ET). All the action will be broadcast, free of charge, on ASun.TV.