TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In the final contest of the two-game set with No. 8 Florida State, the FGCU baseball team fell in a hard-fought game, 6-4, in front of 4,008 lively spectators on Wednesday evening at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.
The loss levels the Eagles’ record at 19-19 (10-8 A-Sun), while the nationally-ranked Seminoles improved to 28-10 (11-7 ACC) on the year.
FGCU was the first to light up the scoreboard in its first chance at the plate. Reaching on a fielder’s choice, freshman Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) advanced to third on back-to-back two-out singles from senior Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla./North Port HS/Pasco-Hernando CC) and sophomore Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter's Secondary). With the bases full, a wild pitch from FSU’s starter Tyler Everett allowed Bednar to cross the dish for an early 1-0 lead.
FSU quickly erased the one-run deficit in the home half of the first when leadoff hitter Devon Travis sent a first pitch delivery over the wall in left field to level the score at 1-1.
Scoring two runs in the second, the Seminoles took a 3-1 lead. A one-out walk and a double placed runners on second and third prior to Devon Travis’ RBI single to left field that moved runners on the corners. Sending a fly ball to right field, Sherman Johnson plated the runner from third on a sacrifice to give the ‘Noles a two-run advantage.
In the fifth inning, the Eagles cut into the deficit off the bat of freshman Sean Dwyer (Leesburg, Fla./Tavares HS). The newcomer connected with a first pitch delivery and sent it over the 25-foot wall in right field for his third homerun of the season to make it a 3-2 contest.
The scoreboard read 3-3 following the Blue and Green’s side of the sixth after a pair of walks and an error to begin the inning. Reeves sent a towering fly ball to deep centerfield to score Bednar from third base on a sacrifice and brought the scoring tally even once again.
Florida State reestablished its advantage in its next chance as the dish by moving three runners around the bases. Highlighted by a two-RBI triple to deep center field, the Seminoles tallied a trio of runs on as many hits to take a 6-3 lead in the sixth stanza.
A solo bomb off the scoreboard in left field from senior Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) made it a 6-4 score in the Eagles’ portion of the eighth. It was Roberson’s fifth home run of the season, good for second on the team, and also matched him with Maxfield atop FGCU’s all-time home runs list with 40 career round-trippers.
The longball from Roberson proved to be the final tally in the ballgame as the Seminoles held the Eagles scoreless in the ninth to take the 6-4 victory.
The Eagles scored four runs on nine hits and were led by Maxfield’s 3-for-3 outing. Roberson and Dwyer each went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Reeves added an RBI in a 1-for-3 night. Bednar also scored a pair of runs for the Blue and Green.
Starting the evening on the hill, junior right-hander Jason Forjet (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Nova HS) went four plus innings and allowed three runs on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts in a no decision. Junior Jacob Barnes (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg HS) was hit with the loss in the contest after throwing two innings and allowing three runs on as many hits. Senior Jack Wagoner (Berlin, Conn./Northwest Catholic/St. Petersburg) and freshman Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS) each threw a scoreless frame in relief, with Wagoner recording a pair of strikeouts.
FSU brought home six runs on 14 hits in the game. Junior lefty Brian Busch (2-1) earned the victory for the Seminoles after throwing two scoreless innings.
After nearly a week on the road, the Eagles land back at home for a three-game weekend set at Swanson Stadium with visiting Le Moyne College (12-23) beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUBaseball), results and recaps from every game will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.