4/16/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 4525
|Win: Bobby Poyner
FORT MYERS, Fla. – In front of a Hammond Stadium crowd of 4,525, the FGCU baseball team was unable to complete the regular season sweep of No. 19 Florida on Tuesday evening, falling to the Gators by a final score of 5-3.
Dropping its fifth straight game, FGCU falls to 20-13 on the year while the Gators upped their mark to 20-18 overall. Closing the final contest in the regular season series between the schools, UF also improved to 7-4 all-time against the Eagles and 2-0 all-time when meeting at Hammond Stadium. Earlier this season, the Eagles became the first team since 2009 to sweep the Gators in a three-game set in Gainesville, Fla.
FGCU established a first-inning lead for the fourth straight game, as one run came across in the opening frame. Freshman Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) started the inning with a single into centerfield and quickly advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary). After heading to third on a wild pitch, Selesky came in to score on an RBI single into left field by freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) for the early one-run lead.
The Gators tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth following back-to-back singles by Justin Shafer and Zack Powers, and a one-out walk to Josh Tobias. Harrison Bader brought in the lone run in frame on a single to left field, before the Green and Blue ended the inning with a 3-2 groundball double play.
UF moved ahead 2-1 in the top of the sixth after a one-out walk to Powers and a single through the left side from Vickash Ramjit. Tobias gave the visitors their first lead in the game on a single off the wall in left center, plating Powers and moving Ramjit to third. The Eagles worked out of the frame in the next at-bat with an unconventional 5-2-5-6 double play between third base and home plate.
Extending its lead to 5-1 in the seventh, the Gators brought in three runs in the top of the inning. Consecutive walks to Dent and Casey Turgeon started the inning, prior to a one-out wild pitch to advance both runners into scoring position. Taylor Gushue made good of the opportunity with a double down the right field line that cleared the bags. Gushue later scored in the inning from third base on a single through the left side by Ramjit.
FGCU answered with a run in a next half inning as redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) walked to begin the Eagles’ at-bat. Freshman Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) placed runners on the corners when the UF pitcher Ryan Harris misplayed a chopper back to the mound then proceeded to overthrow the first baseman. Junior Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) allowed Beisner to make it a 5-2 game, connecting for a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Eagles were able to bring another run around to score in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy of a pair of dropped fly balls by the UF outfield. Rivera earned a two-out walk and was able to move to third on a misplayed ball in right field off the bat of Beisner, as runners were held at the corners. In the next at-bat, a shallow fly ball to center field by Suchy was also misplayed, as Rivera was able to cut the deficit to 5-3 in favor of the Gators. This proved to be the final tally of the night, as both teams sent just three batters to the plate in the ninth.
Redshirt junior right-hander Danny Patrick (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Pepperdine/Palm Beach State) started the contest for the Eagles and went three innings, allowing just one run on four hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts in a no-decision. Senior lefty R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) (1-1) was issued the loss after entering in relief and going three innings, allowing a trio of runs on as many hits and four walks.
Offensively, the Eagles plated three runs on five hits and five UF errors, and were led by Selesky’s 2-for-4 game which included a run scored. Rivera supplied a 1-for-3 game with a walk, adding a run scored and an RBI. Bednar (1-for-3) and Bottomley (1-for-4) accounted for the other hits in the game, while Beisner scored the final run in the contest.
UF scored five runs on 12 hits and one FGCU error. Starting the contest for the Gators, sophomore lefty Bobby Poyner (1-0) earned his first win of the season after going 5.1 innings and allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts.
The Eagles now have two days to prepare for the upcoming Atlantic Sun Conference weekend series with USC Upstate, set to begin on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Swanson Stadium. The two teams will return for a 2 p.m. start on Saturday before closing the trio of contests with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday. A full preview of the weekend series will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com on Thursday.
Fans can get updates and information on FGCU baseball all season long by visiting www.FGCUATHLETICS.com or by following the team on twitter @FGCU_Baseball.