FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind eight strong innings from freshman Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS) and plenty of run production in the third, fourth and fifth innings, the FGCU baseball team evened its weekend series with Le Moyne by taking game two by a 10-1 margin on a hot Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium.
Knapp’s 99-pitch outing saw the right-hander limit the Dolphins to just four hits and one run as he improved to 4-1 on the season. The Port Charlotte, Fla. native sat down the Dolphins in order five times and faced the minimum number of batters through three. Knapp’s start put him in a tie for the team lead with six, while it was his team-best seventh appearance.
The two teams will collide in the final and deciding game of the weekend series on Sunday at noon. FGCU is now 20-20 on the season, while Le Moyne is 13-24.
Knapp’s performance on the mound was backed by another double-digit hit attack from the FGCU bats, including five doubles. All nine positional starters had a hit for the Eagles, highlighted by multi-hit afternoons from the senior quartet of Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS), Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla./North Port HS/Pasco-Hernando CC), Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) and Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair Secondary), who all have over 200 base-knock for their career.
With Knapp on cruise control through three innings, FGCU got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third with a pair of runs. Alvarez brought home the first run with a perfectly-placed bunt single to make it 1-0, while Maxfield’s grounder to shortstop with one out drove in Wickens from third.
After an RBI double from Wickens in the fourth made it 3-0, FGCU put the game away with a five-run fifth inning. A pair of inning-opening walks set the stage for Maxfield who drilled his 15th double of the season to bring in the first run. Sophomore Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) worked a walk to load the bases for junior Javi Sujo (Miami, Fla./Miami Sunset HS/Middle Georgia College) who ripped a two-run double down the right field like to increase the lead to 6-0. The final two runs came on a sacrifice fly by Sean Dwyer (Leesburg, Fla./Tavares HS) and an error by the Dolphins.
Knapp retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh before finishing off his day with a scoreless eighth. Freshman Alex Norris entered the game in the ninth and closed the door with a scoreless final frame.
Reeves extended his hit streak to nine games with a single to lead off the second inning. Maxfield added two RBI on the day to increase his season total to a team-best 43. Wickens’ 2-for-3 day with two runs scored comes in his second game back from injury after missing the previous 13 contests.
Live Stats are available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.