Eagles miss A-Sun Tournament despite win
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Six strong innings from senior right-hander Jack Wagoner (Berlin, Conn./Northwest Catholic/St. Petersburg) coupled with back-to-back two-run innings in the third and fourth proved to be enough as the FGCU baseball team completed the series sweep of Lipscomb with a 4-2 win on Senior Day at Swanson Stadium.
Despite winning five of their last six to close the season, the Eagles (27-28) miss advancing to the A-Sun Tournament by one game due to Belmont (17-13) taking down regular season champ Stetson, 11-5. FGCU’s 16-14 record in the conference marks the first time since 1999 that an A-Sun team has finished two games above .500 and not made the postseason.
Wagoner was one of eight terrific seniors that were honored prior to the start of the game, as the class finished their career at FGCU with three Atlantic Sun regular season titles and 136 wins over the program’s first four years in Division 1.
The win improved Wagoner’s record to 5-3 on the season, striking out three while only giving up three hits over his six innings. Sophomore R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) came on in relief and closed out the game with three scoreless innings for his first save of the season. Brown finished his second season with a 4-0 record and a team-low 3.26 ERA over 18 appearances.
FGCU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third with a pair of two-out runs. Senior Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) drove home the first run with a single into left field to take over the all-time RBI lead with 180. That lead lasted just one pitch, as fellow senior Zach Maxfield’s (North Port, Fla./North Port HS/Pasco-Hernando CC) 20th double of the season brought Roberson all the way around from first to make it 2-0. Ironically, Roberson scored Maxfield’s 180th RBI, as the duo finished their careers atop the FGCU record book together.
After Lipscomb was able to take advantage of an Eagle error in the top of the fourth and tie the game at 2-2, the Blue and Green responded with the last two runs of the game in the bottom half of the frame. A leadoff double by junior Javi Sujo (Miami, Fla./Miami Sunset HS/Middle Georgia College) followed by a single from freshman Sean Dwyer (Leesburg, Fla./Tavares HS) and a walk to senior Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair Secondary) loaded the bases with no outs. A passed ball allowed all three runners to move up, scoring Sujo from third to make it 3-2. Senior Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to deep left field that scored Dwyer from third to push it to a 4-2 edge.
Only four batters reached base from the fifth inning through the end of the game, as Wagoner and Brown limited the Bisons to just two hits over their last five at-bats. Brown tossed 32 pitches over his three innings, getting three strikeouts.
Sujo led the eight-hit charge for the Eagles with a 3-for-4 day at the plate that included a run scored. Dwyer capped a strong series by going 2-for-4. Maxfield’s double in the third was the 54th of his three-year career, a program record. Alvarez also finished atop the FGCU record book with 316 hits.
Lipscomb finished the year with a 19-36 record and 10-20 mark in the A-Sun.