Forjet Fans 12 as Eagles Squeeze Out 2-1 Win Over Kennesaw State in Game Two
Saturday, April 28, 2012 | by Caleb Baker (@calebaker)
Photo by Dennis Snyder
Photo by Dennis Snyder
Kennesaw State (28-19, 12-8 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (17-25, 8-9 A-Sun)
4/28/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 158
Kennesaw State100000000130
Florida Gulf Coast000000002280
Win: COONEY (4-2) 1.000001
Loss: Kevin Kyle (0-4) 8.172225
Andy Almonte (KSU) 411000
Ronnie Freeman (KSU) 401000
Andy Chriscaden (KSU) 201100

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Trailing 1-0 heading into its final at bat, the FGCU baseball team used a well-executed squeeze play with one out in the bottom of the ninth to score the game-winning run and complete a 2-1 comeback win over Kennesaw State in the second game of the Atlantic Sun weekend series at Swanson Stadium on Saturday.

Freshman Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) drove in the game-tying run with an RBI single in the ninth before freshman Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson HS) put down the perfect squeeze bunt down the first base line to easily score pinch-runner Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) for the walk-off victory.

The win clinches the weekend series for the Eagles, who took Friday’s opener, 5-2. FGCU improves to 17-25 overall and 8-9 in the A-Sun, while the conference series loss is just the second of the year for Kennesaw State (28-19, 12-8), who had won six of its last seven entering the weekend.

FGCU was able to keep it a one-run game heading into the ninth thanks to an eight-inning gem from senior right-hander Jason Forjet (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Nova HS), who gave up a first inning run before striking out a career-high 12 batters.

KSU left-hander Kyle Kevin was equally impressive heading into the ninth, but started off the final frame by hitting sophomore Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS). A sac bunt by sophomore Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) moved Dwyer into scoring position before a high-bouncing ground ball up the middle by junior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) put runners on the corners.

With two hits already in the game, Tillery laced a two-strike single into right center field to score Dwyer from third to tie it at 1-1 and force KSU to pull Kevin from the game. The Owls turned the ball over to side-arm right-hander Justin McCalvin and on his first pitch of the game watched Diaz lay down the game-winning squeeze bunt.

Pinned with another no-decision, Forjet lowered his ERA to 3.15 during his 108-pitch outing, giving up just three hits. After Kennesaw’s one run in the first, Forjet retired 17 batters in a row, getting the side in order in innings 2-6. He struck out at least one batter in all eight innings and now has a team-high 60 punch outs over 68.2 innings of work.

Sophomore Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to keep it 1-0 and improve to 4-2 on the year. Kevin was dealt the loss to fall to 0-4 on the season despite tossing eight scoreless innings to open the game. Both runs were charged to Kevin, as his final line was 8.1 innings, seven hits, two walks and five strikeouts.

Tillery’s 3-for-4 day highlighted an 8-3 edge in hits for the Eagles. Reeves reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk.

FGCU and Kennesaw State will return to the diamond on Sunday for the series finale at 1 p.m. at Swanson Stadium.