ETSU Outlasts FGCU in Extra Innings to Take Weekend Series
Sunday, March 25, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@pierson_sid)
Photo by Dennis Snyder
Photo by Dennis Snyder
East Tennessee State (13-9, 3-3 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (9-15, 3-3 A-Sun)
3/25/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 177
East Tennessee State0001000001282
Florida Gulf Coast0000000100142
Win: DOANE (2-1) 2.000004
Loss: ANDERSON (1-3) 3.111033
GREEN (ETSU) 413010
BEDNAR (FGCU) 401100
REEVES (FGCU) 401000
DIAZ (FGCU) 401000

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team closed out its weekend Atlantic Sun home series against ETSU with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in extra innings on Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium. The Eagles tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, but fell in the 10th inning on an unearned run.

With the loss, FGCU (9-15) watches its A-Sun record even at 3-3, while the win does the same for ETSU’s (13-9) conference mark. The Buccaneers won the final two games to take the weekend series after FGCU won on Friday night, 4-0, behind sophomore Ricky Knapp’s (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS) complete-game shutout.

Lost in defeat was the solid outing by starter Jason Forjet (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Nova HS), who went 6.1 innings in a no-decision. Forjet scattered seven hits, giving up just one earned run with three strikeouts. The one earned run allowed lowered Forjet’s ERA to 2.95 on the year.

Forjet left the game with one out in the top of the seventh and the Eagles trailing, 1-0. With a runner on second base, FGCU turned to junior lefty R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) to get the second out and then freshman Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) to get the Green and Blue out of the jam.

With just two hits in the first seven innings off of ETSU starter Jake Long, the Eagles finally put together a two-out rally off the right-hander in the eighth. Senior Ryan Gebhart (Waco, Texas/Midway HS/Missouri) ignited the inning with a two-out single into right field. With Gebhart owning a team-high six steals on the season, ETSU paid close attention to the tying run on first and a picked off attempt skipped by the first baseman and allowed the speedy outfielder to advance to second base. Sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) wasted no time capitalizing off the miscue, drilling a single into right center field to score Gebhart and make it 1-1.

Anderson overcame a leadoff walk in the ninth to keep the Buccaneers off the scoreboard, but couldn’t hold ETSU down in extras. With runners on first and second with one out, Anderson got Zach Thompson to hit a harder ground to first where sophomore Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) quickly wheeled and fired to second for the first part of what would have been the inning-ending double play. Diaz’s toss from second to first where Anderson was covering for the final out was dropped, allowing the runner to score all the way from second to make 2-1.

ETSU’s Kerry Doane made sure there was no comeback attempt by the Eagles, striking out the side in order to close out the game and earn his second win of the season. Doane came in for Long to start the ninth after Long had given up just four hits over eight innings and struck out eight.

Both Forjet and Anderson were able to work out of jams all day, as the Bucs stranded 12 runners on base. Anderson’s line of 3.1 innings, one hit, one run, three walks and three strikeouts dealt him the tough-luck loss to fall to 1-3.

Offense was at a premium in the series, as the entire three-game set featured a combined 16 runs with ETSU holding a final 9-7 edge. The Eagles had just 13 hits over the weekend, while ETSU’s Matthew Scruggs, who entered the series as the nation’s leader in home runs with 10, went 0-for-10 with eight strikeouts.

FGCU will return to the diamond on Tuesday, March 27, when it heads across the state for a non-conference showdown at FIU. Gametime is slated for 6 p.m.