Eagle Aces Shut Down Manhattan, @FGCU_Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader
Saturday, March 08, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photos Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photos Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Manhattan (1-8)
FGCU (8-7)
3/8/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 358
Win: DECKERT (2-2) 7.0610210
Loss: Jacques (0-1) 5.043343
Teixeira (MAN) 302000
DIAZ (FGCU) 413200

Game 1
WP | Nick Deckert (2-2) – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO
LP | Joe Jacques (0-1) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO

Game 2
WP | Zack Tillery (1-1) – 7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
LP | William Fabra (0-2) – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO
SV | Brady Anderson (6) – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO

 Nick Deckert and Zack Tillery took the mound for the FGCU baseball team (9-7) in a doubleheader on Saturday against the Manhattan Jaspers (1-9) and both brought their A-game to lead the Green and Blue to a pair of victories (13-3, 3-2), striking out a combined 18 batters along the way, both establishing single-game career highs.

In game one it was Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) that started things off with some flash. He struck out an FGCU career-best 10 batters, the most in a single game by any Eagle starter this season and wound up throwing 7.0 innings (season-high) of one-run ball and even holding on to a 1-0 deficit for most of the game.

Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) tossed the first six innings of the ball game without allowing a hit and fanned a career-high eight to earn his first win of the season on the mound. The lone run and lone hit was a homerun over the right field wall with one out in the seventh. Tillery would rebound to strike out the last two batters of his outing and turn things over to the bullpen.

“Those two really threw quality games today,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “Deckert worked his way out of trouble again and again and Tillery just got in a rhythm and pitched real well. Our offense really came alive in the first one and our defense stepped up at the end of the second one. It was a complete day for us and we’re happy to come away with two wins.”

The bats came alive for FGCU in game one, spraying 13 hits and piling on 13 runs, tying a season high. Everyone in the starting lineup collected at least one hit while three picked up multiple. Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) topped the hit list with three and drove in a pair of runs despite coming into the game on an 0-18 slump.

In game two both pitchers dueled a hitless game into the sixth but it was FGCU who would strike first. The Green and Blue put two runs on the board in the sixth and an insurance run up in the eighth to hand things over to closer Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) who pitched a rocky ninth but with some help from the defense, came away with his Atlantic Sun-leading sixth save of the season.

Manhattan broke into the scoring column first in the third inning of game one. Chris Kalousdian walked with one out, stole second and with two outs following a strikeout came around to score when Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) misplayed a fly ball in right.

The Eagle bats appeared anemic until the sixth when they quickly loaded the bases on Joe Jacques who had suddenly lost the zone after dominated the FGCU order early on. Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotts HS) walked to lead off the inning, Suchy followed with a bunt single and a Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) walk loaded the bases for Kevin Young (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra Beach HS) who wore a pitch to drive in the tying run. After back-to-back pop outs, Eagle hitters worked back-to-back walks to drive in two more runs without collecting a hit. Diaz came to the plate and drove in run number four and Noll got plunked allowed run five to cross the plate. A balk would bring home the final run of the inning for FGCU, giving Deckert a 6-1 cushion to work with.

The lefty sat down the Jaspers in order in the seventh and the Eagles jumped on Manhattan again in the bottom half putting up six more runs to build the lead to 12-1 and would add a 13th in the eighth to match a season-high run total. Ryan Atwood (Austin, Texas/Navarro College) would toss a scoreless eighth and Liam Rafferty (Ashburnham, Mass./Sacred Heart Univ.) struggled through the ninth to close out the 13-3 victory.

The second game of the double-dip was shaping up to be a game for the ages for a while as both Tillery and Manhattan starter Will Fabra carried no-hitters into the sixth. Tillery kept his alive through six but in the bottom half, Fabra finally slipped up. With two outs and a runner on, Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central) lifted a fly ball down the right field that fell in for a triple, driving in Young who had walked earlier. Brian Voelkl (Bradenton, Fla./SCOF) walked and attempted to steal but got hung up in a run down, allowing Morey to score before being tagged out for the third out, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

Tillery’s no-no would come to an end with one out in the seventh when Christian Santisteban homered over the right field wall to cut the score in half. Tillery fanned the last two batters of the inning to conclude his day on a high note however.

Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) worked a scoreless eighth and the Eagles added an insurance run in the bottom half to give Garrett’s big brother Brady a shot at his sixth save in the ninth.

Brady allowed a leadoff single, walked a batter and threw away a ball trying to get a runner at first on a sacrifice bunt attempt, resulting in one run coming home. With a one-run lead now, Anderson intentionally walked Santisteban to load the bases. Vin Teixeira came to the plate and grounded a ball towards third that Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) fielded and threw home for the first out. The next pitch from Anderson, Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) received and fired down to third, catching the runner off guard and getting the pick-off for the second out. Anderson induced a groundout from the next batter to shut the door on Manhattan in game two.

Eagle pitching was simply brilliant on Saturday afternoon, striking out a combined 19 batters, walking eight and allowing just one earned run. Coupled with Mike Murray’s (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) performance last night, the Green and Blue have only allowed one earned run in the series.

The four-game set with the Jaspers will conclude tomorrow at 10 a.m. Anyone with a ticket to the FGCU men’s basketball game at 2 p.m. will be admitted to the baseball game for free.