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Dwyer Leads No. 23 @FGCU_Baseball to Walk-Off Win Over Western Michigan, 3-2
|Win: KNOBLAUCH (2-0)||1.0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Loss: PORTER (0-3)||2.0||2||1||1||0||0|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After rallying back from a pair of one-run deficits, the No. 23 FGCU baseball team used an extra-inning walk-off RBI single from junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) in the bottom of the 14th to defeat visiting Western Michigan, 3-2, in game two of the three-game series at Swanson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Winners of five straight, the Eagles’ record improved to 12-3 on the year while WMU dropped to 3-12 in the losing effort.
With the score even at 2-2 entering the bottom of the 14th, back-to-back one-out singles from junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) and senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) got the inning started for the Green and Blue. It wouldn’t take long for the Eagles to make good on the opportunity, as Dwyer roped the walk-off RBI single into center field to plate Bednar’s game-winning run.
“We found ourselves in a couple of pressure situations today,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “Rallying from behind once in a game is challenge but to do it twice, including extra innings, showed some real focus from our guys today. Also, I felt that (Michael) Murray really competed out there on the mound to begin the game, and I felt he gave us another solid performance out of the gate.”
WMU struck first in the top of the seventh on a solo home run to left field from Andrew Sohn for the 1-0 lead.
The one-run Broncos’ edge would hold until the Eagles’ eighth, when Reeves scored to tie the game at 1-1. The Peterborough, Ontario product opened the inning with a walk, moved to second on sacrifice bunt from Dwyer and then to third on a groundout to short. Sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) picked up the RBI in the frame with a single deep in the hole at short to plate Reeves.
Both squads went away 1-2-3 in the ninth to send the game to extra frames.
In the top of the 12th, the visiting club reestablished a one-run lead after holding runs on first and second with two away. A single into center field from Caleb Caton moved the runner to the dish for the 2-1 edge.
FGCU responded in its chance in the 12th, following a one-out single to Bednar and back-to-back walks to Reeves and Dwyer. With the bases loaded, senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) sent a sacrifice fly to deep center field, as Bednar scored to knot the game at 2-2.
Starting the contest on the mound for the Eagles, freshman Michael Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forest Hill HS) tossed the first seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits and one walk while picking up a trio of strikeouts in the no-decision.
The Eagles scored three runs on 14 hits; marking the eighth game the Green and Blue have recorded double-digit hits. Bednar led the way, going 4-for-7 with a pair of runs scored including the game-deciding tally. Highlighted by the walk-off single, Dwyer went 3-for-5 in the game with a walk and an RBI. Meanwhile, Reeves (1-for-5) accounted for the other run scored and freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) supplied a 3-for-4 day at the dish.
FGCU used five arms in the contest, as senior lefty R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) tossed 0.1 innings in relief of Murray, allowing one hit and picking up one strikeout. Junior right-hander Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) tossed 4.2 frames, allowing one run on a pair of hits while striking out five batters. Redshirt junior righty Danny Patrick (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Pepperdine/Palm Beach State College) went one scoreless inning, followed by one scoreless frame from redshirt freshman righty Clint Knoblauch (Wellington, Fla./Wellington HS), who earned the victory (2-0) while striking out one batter.
The Broncos scored two runs on six hits and a pair of FGCU errors. Entering as the fourth arm used for his respective side, junior righty Monty Porter was hit with the loss to drop to 0-3 on the year.
Returning to the field on Sunday afternoon, the two teams will conclude the series with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Swanson Stadium. Sophomore right-hander Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) (1-1, 3.07 ERA) is set to take the mound for FGCU, while sophomore righty Will Nimke (0-2, 12.46) will open the game for WMU.
Tickets for all home contests are available online at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com/tickets or by calling the FGCU ticket office at 239-590-7145.
Sunday, Mar. 10 – 1 p.m.
FGCU – RHP Zack Tillery, So. (1-1, 3.07 ERA, 14.2 IP, 7 K, 7 BB, .259 B/Avg.)
WMU – RHP Will Nimke, So. (0-2, 12.46 ERA, 8.2 IP, 5 K, 6 BB, .390 B/Avg.)
Fans can get updates and information on FGCU baseball all season long by visiting http://www.FGCUATHLETICS.comor by following the team on twitter @FGCU_Baseball.