FGCU Baseball Earns 8-5 Victory Over Boston College in Series Finale
Sunday, March 04, 2012 | by Caleb Baker (@calebaker)
Soph. Andrew Valencia came on as a pinch hitter and connected for a two-RBI double to left field (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
Soph. Andrew Valencia came on as a pinch hitter and connected for a two-RBI double to left field (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
Boston College (6-3)
Florida Gulf Coast (6-5)
3/4/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 272
Boston College0200000035101
Florida Gulf Coast20204000X892
Win: BIXLER (2-1) 5.022047
Loss: Matt Alvarez (1-1) 4.147557
Matt McGovern (BC) 312221
Tom Bourdon (BC) 512000
Spenser Payne (BC) 502000

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After dropping the first two contests in the three-game set, the FGCU baseball team prevented a weekend sweep by defeating ACC foe Boston College, 8-5, on Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Swanson Stadium.

“We picked up a nice victory this afternoon to finish out the series,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “Boston College is a good team and has already beaten three ranked opponents this season. To close out the three-game set with a win is nice, especially heading into a tough series next weekend at No. 1 Florida.”

The victory moves FGCU’s record to 6-5, while Boston College dropped to 6-3 on the year.

FGCU took at quick 2-0 lead in its first chance at the plate after back-to-back walks to sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) and graduate student Ryan Gebhart (Waco, Texas/Midway HS/Missouri), and a hit-by-pitch to freshman Kevin Young (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra Beach HS). With one out in the inning, junior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) sent a grounder to third base which presented a likely double play, but a throwing error on the turn allowed Bednar and Gebhart both to touch home plate for the two-run lead.

In the top of the second, Boston College tied the game at 2-2. An error at second base to start the frame allowed Marc Perdios to reach first, and a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with no outs. Another infield throwing error on a sac bunt allowed BC’s first run to score from second base, and positioned runners on second and third. Later in the inning with one out, a groundout to the shortstop plated the game-tying run from third.

The Green and Blue reestablished the lead at 4-2 in the bottom of the third, following consecutive walks again to Bednar and Gebhart. Recording his first collegiate hit and RBI on the play, Young sent a single back up the middle to score Bednar from second base. Finding runners on first and second with two outs in the inning, junior Dane Wisneski (Jupiter, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens HS/Daytona State) laced another single into centerfield, plating Gebhart for the two-run advantage.

The hometown Eagles poured in four more runs in their side of the fifth. After Reeves reached first on a fielder’s choice, the Green and Blue loaded the bases on singles by Wisneski and freshman Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS). Entering the contest as a pinch hitter, sophomore Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) roped a one-out double off the left field wall to score Wisneski and Reeves. FGCU eventually made it 8-2, as freshman Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) plated Tillery on a groundout to the shortstop, and Bednar scored Valencia on a linedrive single over the second baseman’s head.

Moving to the mound in the eighth inning, Anderson recorded his eighth straight scoreless inning for the Green and Blue, however, the streak came to halt in the ninth as Boston College was able to plate three runs, including a solo homerun to Matt McGovern to leadoff the inning. Anderson finished out the ballgame for FGCU, as it held on for the 8-5 victory.

Sophomore lefty Brandon Bixler (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) had another strong start on the mound for the Green and Blue as he improved to 2-1 this season. The Oviedo, Fla. product tallied seven punch outs in five innings of work, walking four while surrendering a pair of runs on as many hits. Junior right-hander Danny Patrick (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Pepperdine/Palm Beach State) also saw two innings in relief, allowing just one hit while picking up two strikeouts.

Offensively, FGCU scored eight runs on nine hits and one Boston College error. Each adding a pair of runs scored, Bednar had a 1-for-3 afternoon which included an RBI, while Gebhart went 1-for-1 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Additionally, Wisneski recorded a 2-for-5 day at the plate while scoring once and driving in one RBI, and Valencia made good on his pinch hit appearance as he drove in two RBI on a 1-for-1 day which also included a run scored.

Starting all three contests in the series, Gebhart led FGCU at plate with a .444 average, going 4-for-9 with four walks, an RBI and two runs scored. Bednar also started all three games, hitting 4-for-11 for an average of .364, adding four walks, a grand slam, five RBI and three runs scored.

Boston College scored five runs on 10 hits and a pair of FGCU errors. Right-hander Matt Alvarez (1-1) started the contest for BC and picked up the loss after throwing 4.1 innings and allowing seven runs (five earned) on four hits, adding seven strikeouts and five walks.

FGCU returns to the diamond when it travels to Gainesville, Fla. to take on national power No. 1 Florida in a three-game set at McKethan Stadium from March 9-11. Game times are set for 7 p.m. on Friday, with a 4 p.m. contest on Saturday and a 1 p.m. start on Sunday. The Sunday contest will be aired live on Fox Sun Sports, while free live audio will be available for the Friday and Saturday games with Tom James on the call.

Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles and @FGCUBaseball), results and recaps from all FGCU events are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.