Florida Gulf Coast
3/18/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 211
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, the FGCU baseball team dropped the series finale of the three-game Atlantic Sun Conference opening weekend set with visiting North Florida, 10-4, on Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium.
The loss moved the Eagles’ record to 8-11 (2-1 A-Sun) overall, while the Ospreys improved to 13-7 (1-2 A-Sun) this season. The all-time series between the schools sits at 12-5 in favor of FGCU, and the Green and Blue now hold an all-time mark of 12-3 in A-Sun opening weekends, including a 7-2 mark when opening the league slate at Swanson Stadium. The Eagles’ all-time league record sits at 76-35.
“Overall, it was a good weekend series to open conference play,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “We picked up wins on Friday and Saturday and held an early lead again this afternoon. Unfortunately, once we got ahead we started to coast a little today, and that is something we will have to work on going forward. We have another tough stretch of games coming up and we can’t afford to let close games get out of reach.”
Sophomore Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) put the Eagles on the board with three runs in the third inning on his team-leading third homerun of the season. Redshirt freshman Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson HS) opened the inning by moving to second base on a throwing error by the shortstop and advanced to third on a sac bunt by sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS). Holding runners on the corners with one out following a walk to senior Ryan Gebhart (Waco, Texas/Midway HS/Missouri), Valencia smashed the 1-0 pitch over the wall in left field for the three-run FGCU lead.
UNF scored one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to tie the game at 3-3. With the bases loaded in the fifth, a grounder deep in the hole cut the FGCU lead to 3-2, and the Ospreys leveled the game in their next chance at the plate with a sacrifice fly to center and an RBI groundout to short.
The Ospreys found the bases loaded again in the seventh after an infield error, a single and a walk. With two outs in the frame, UNF’s Michael Wesner sent a chopper out in front of the plate and an error on the throw down to first allowed him to advance to third while clearing the bases for a 6-3 lead. Wesner scored later in the inning on a single through left side by Paul Karmeris for the four-run advantage.
After UNF plated three more runs in the top of the ninth to take a 10-3 lead, the Eagles got once last shot at the plate. With two outs in the inning, freshman Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) reached on a throwing error by the shortstop and moved to second on a single by freshman Kevin Young (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra Beach HS). Bednar then stepped to plate and drove in the final run of the ballgame, scoring Anderson on a single up the middle. The Ospreys worked out the inning without any further damage, taking the 10-4 victory.
In a no-decision, senior right-hander Jason Forjet (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Nova HS) went six innings and allowed three runs on as many hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. Hit with the loss, Anderson (1-2) entered in relief and tossed 2.1 innings, allowing six runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out one. Junior southpaw RJ Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) finished the final 0.2 frames, with one run, one hit, one walk and a pair of strikeouts.
The Eagles scored four runs on five hits and a pair of UNF errors. Each going 1-for-4 on the day, Valencia had three RBI and a run scored, while Bednar had an RBI and Gebhart scored once. Dwyer (1-for-3) and Young (1-for-1) accounted for the Eagles’ other two hits, while Anderson and Diaz each scored once.
UNF tallied 10 runs on eight hits and a pair of FGCU errors. Entering in relief, Tyler Moore (2-1) earned the win after pitching 4.1 frames and allowing one run on two hits and two walks, while striking out five.
For the series, the Green and Blue batted .231 with 13 runs scored, 12 RBI and a pair of home runs. Dwyer led the team at the dish, hitting .400 (4-for-10) with two walks, a double, a triple, a home run, three runs scored and one RBI. Bednar also hit .333 (4-for-12) through the three games, with a run scored and two RBI. Also of note, Valencia drove in six RBI and scored once while hitting .250.
The Eagles will now make their second road trip of the season as they travel to Lubbock, Texas for a two-game mid-week set with No. 27 Texas Tech (12-8) on March 20-21, with both contests slated for 7 p.m. starts. A preview of the series, as well as, live stats, in-game Twitter updates, results and recaps of all FGCU events will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.