Tillery's Pinch-Hit, Walk-Off Hit Lifts #FGCU to Series Sweep of Florida A&M
Sunday, March 16, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photo Courtesy: Jim Dostie
Photo Courtesy: Jim Dostie
FAMU (6-13)
FGCU (13-7)
3/16/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 379
Win: ANDERSON (1-0) 1.131102
Loss: FLEMING (0-1) 2.031110
WALKER (FAMU) 513000
NOLL (FGCU) 503000


WP | Brady Anderson (1-0) – 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
LP | Brian Fleming (0-1) – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO

FORT MYERS, Fla. ­­– The FGCU baseball team (13-7) was in search of back-to-back series sweeps for the first time this season and after relinquishing a 3-1 lead to Florida A&M (6-13) over the final two innings Zack Tillery came off the bench to pinch-hit with a runner in scoring position and swung away at the first pitch he saw to drive in the game-winning run.

Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) took the ball for the Eagles, making his third start of the year, this time in place of Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) who had been out the entire series due to illness. English would toss 4.2 innings of three-hit ball allowing just one run and striking out a career-high eight batters. Brady Anderson (Arcardia, Fla./DeSoto HS) came on in the eighth in search of his nation-leading eighth save but would blow the lead in the ninth and ultimately pick up his first win of the season.

Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) stayed hot, going 3-5 at the plate and stealing three bases to bring his season total to 15, just five shy of the single season record set in 2008. Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central HS) saw his seven-game hit streak come to an end with an 0-5 effort on Sunday afternoon while Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) drove in a run in back-to-back games for the second time this season to go with his pair of hits at the plate.

“We’re going to need big hits in big situations when conference play gets started,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “Tillery came in and delivered when we needed him to and that’s all you can ask for. Our offense picked up Brady. It was a good win for a young club, great to pick up the sweep and now we turn our attention to Miami on Wednesday.”

FAMU wasted no time getting the scoring started for the second day in-a-row when a hit and walk to kick things off would result in one run crossing the plate in the first. FGCU would get rolling in the bottom of the second when they put runners on first and third with one out. Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Stoneman Douglas HS) deliberately got into a run-down between first and second allowing Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) to race home from third for the first run. Blake Berger (Jacksonville, Fla./Sante Fe Collge) then came to the plate and drove home Bottomley, who had survived the run down, to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.

FGCU would increase the lead in the fifth when Kevin Young (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra Beach HS) doubled to left and came home on a Selesky single to center. But that was all the Eagles would get, putting the game in the hands of the bullpen the rest of the way.

Mario Leon (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) allowed one run in 0.2 innings pitched in the eighth. Anderson came on to get the final out of the inning to limit the damage. It was Anderson however who with two out and two on gave up a single to left to tie the score at three, blowing his first save of the 2014 season.

FGCU came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with a chance to win the game but picked up two quick outs. Suchy came to the plate as the last hope and singled with two strikes to right and stole second. Selesky walked to put runners on first and second with two down for Tillery who would come back from illness to appear for the first time in the series to pinch-hit. He wasted no time, swinging away at the first pitch and driving the ball to right-center for a no-doubt base hit, driving in Suchy, winning the game for the Eagles and securing the sweep of the Rattlers and extending the FGCU win streak to seven games.

The Eagles return to the field on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium to host the nationally ranked Hurricanes of Miami (Fla.) at 6:30 p.m. More info regarding tickets will be coming Monday morning.  
Single-game tickets for FGCU Baseball are available at a cost of $6 for adults and $3 for children. Season tickets are also available. For more ticket information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call or visit the ticket office at 239-590-7145.