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FGCU Earns A-Sun Series Win with 7-4 Victory Over UNF in Game Two
|Florida Gulf Coast||0||2||1||3||0||0||1||0||X||7||8||1|
|Win: POLLY (2-1)||6.0||10||3||3||1||3|
|Loss: RENNER (3-2)||6.2||7||7||4||3||6|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – On Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium, the FGCU baseball team secured an Atlantic Sun Conference series victory over visiting North Florida in the opening weekend, defeating the Ospreys by a final score of 7-4 in game two of the three-game set.
The Eagles bettered their mark to 8-10 (2-0 A-Sun) on the year, while the Ospreys fell to 12-7 (0-2 A-Sun) this season. The Green and Blue also improve their mark against UNF to 12-4 all-time.
“We showed some patience at the plate today, which helped us get runners on base,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “Once we were on base, the guys did a nice job of moving runners into scoring position which allowed us to put some runs on the board. Both pitchers were effective on the mound this afternoon and I was pleased with the effort that (Andrew) Polly and (Harrison) Cooney gave us today.”
Consecutive doubles opened the contest for the visitors, giving UNF a 1-0 lead two batters into the game. Later in the frame with two outs, Ryan Roberson sent another double down the left field line to give the Ospreys a two-run advantage.
The Green and Blue tied the game at 2-2 in the home side of the third on a two-run single into shallow right center by freshman Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS). After a sacrifice bunt by junior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) moved sophomore Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) and junior Tito Mendoza (Miramar, Fla./Cooper City HS/Cowley CC) into scoring position, Anderson sent a 1-1 delivery into the outfield grass to level the game with two outs in the inning.
Both sides plated one run in the third, keeping the game even at 3-3. Stealing second following a two-out single, Tyler Marincov came around to score for UNF on an RBI single up the middle by Roberson for the temporary 3-2 lead.
The Eagles responded in the home side of the inning when sophomore Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) laced a one-out RBI double down the left field line, scoring senior Ryan Gebhart (Waco, Texas/Midway HS/Missouri), who had reached previously on a hard liner in to left field.
A three-run fourth inning broke the game open, putting the Green and Blue out in front, at 6-3. Anderson and freshman Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) started the frame with back-to-back walks, and redshirt freshman Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson HS) loaded the bases on an infield bunt single. Sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) connected for a single through the left side to drive in Suchy, and an error on the play by the left fielder allowed Anderson to also come across on the play. After Gebhart laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Diaz and Bednar into scoring position, Valencia sent a sacrifice fly into centerfield which plated Diaz on the tag from third.
FGCU tacked on one more insurance run in the seventh inning to move ahead 7-3. Dwyer’s two-out single through right side prompted a call to the bullpen for the Ospreys, which immediately issued first base to Mendoza on a hit-by-pitch. The Eagles found the bases full later in the inning when a throwing error by the catcher on a dropped third strike allowed Reeves to reach first. Sending his second hit of the series into right field, Suchy picked up his third RBI of the year as Dwyer came across the dish.
The final tally of the contest came in the top of the ninth, when the Osprey put one more run on the board off of one hit and one FGCU defensive miscue. Working his third inning on the mound, sophomore Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) preserved the 7-4 win with a game-ending strikeout to earn his first save of the season, and third of his career.
Improving to 2-1 this season, junior left-hander Andrew Polly (Broken Arrow, Okla./Tulsa Union HS/Cowley County CC) started the contest for the Eagles and tossed six innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits and one walk while picking up three strikeouts. Cooney closed out the final three frames, surrendering one run on one hit and one walk while recording four punch outs.
The Eagles scored seven runs on eight hits and three UNF errors. Anderson was the most productive at the plate, going 1-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored. Suchy also went 1-for-3 with a walk in the game adding an RBI and a run scored, while Diaz scored once in his 2-for-4 afternoon. Additionally, Valencia (1-for-4) drove in two RBI and Dwyer (1-for-4) scored twice. Gebhart and Mendoza accounted for the Eagles other two runs in the contest.
UNF scored four runs on 11 hits and one FGCU error. Lefty Michael Renner (3-2) was issued the loss in the contest after hurling 6.2 innings and allowing seven runs (four earned) on as many hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
The two teams will be back at Swanson Stadium on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. for the series finale. Senior right-hander Jason Forjet (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Nova HS) (0-2, 2.96 ERA) will start the contest for the Eagles, while junior lefty Tommy Organ (1-1, 4.87 ERA) is slated to throw for UNF.
Sunday, Mar. 18 – 1 p.m.
FGCU – RHP Jason Forjet, Sr. (0-2, 2.96 ERA, 24.1 IP, 23 SO, 5 BB, .240 B/Avg.)
UNF – LHP Tommy Organ, Jr. (1-1, 4.87 ERA, 20.1 IP, 19 SO, 9 BB, .288 B/Avg.)
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles and @FGCUBaseball), results and recaps from all FGCU events are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.