No. 24 Baseball Falls to No. 5 FSU, 12-9
|Florida Gulf Coast||0||0||0||1||5||0||1||2||0||9||11||1|
|Win: Smith (4-0)||2.1||1||1||0||0||2|
|Loss: COONEY (1-3)||1.1||2||5||5||4||0|
Tallahassee, Fla. – In a matchup of two ranked teams, the No. 5 Florida State got the better of the No. 24 FGCU baseball team, 12-9, in an offensive slugfest Tuesday night at Dick Howser Stadium.
The Eagles drop to 18-7 on the year while the Seminoles improve to 25-4. The Noles also improved to 5-1 in the all-time series between the schools with the win.
The Seminoles opened the scoring with a five-run third inning. With one out, Casey Smit doubled down the left field line and John Sansone followed with a two-run blast over the left field wall to give FSU a 2-0 advantage. Josh Delph then singled and moved to third on a double to right center by Marcus Davis. DJ Stewart continued the rally with a double off the right center wall to plate both Delph and Davis, later scoring on a single up the middle by Jose Bizuela to give FSU a 5-0 lead.
The Green and Blue answered back in the top half of the fourth after junior Sean Dwyer (Taveras, Fla./Taveras HS) reached first on a one-out hit-by-pitch. Junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South fork HS) doubled down the left field line past a diving third basemen to put runners on second and third, setting up redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) who brought in Dwyer from third on a grounder to short.
The bats came alive for FGCU in the fifth as five runs came across to score. Redshirt sophomore Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./Ferguson HS) and freshman Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) supplied back-to-back singles up the middle to put runners on first and second with one out in the frame. Senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) followed with a walk to load the bases, before a wild pitch plated Diaz and advanced the other two runners into scoring position. Dwyer walked to re-load the bases prior to a Bednar grounder to short which appeared to be double-play opportunity. The Noles recorded the out at second base, but an errant throw to first allowed both Selesky and Reeves to score on the play as Bednar moved to second base. After Bednar moved to third on an infield single from Beisner, another wild pitch in the inning allowed the Eagles to tie the game at 5-5. Later in the inning with Beisner on second base, freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) delivered a two-out double down the right field line to give the Eagles a 6-5 advantage.
The Seminoles took the lead back in bottom half of the sixth with five runs. Smit started the inning with a single through the left side and Sansone followed with a walk. Both runners moved into scoring position on sacrifice bunt, before Davis loaded the bases on a hit-by-pitch. Stewart drew an RBI walk to keep the bases loaded, setting up Stephen McGee's a grand slam into the left field bullpen to give FSU a 10-6 lead.
The Green and Blue got one run back in the seventh to make it a 10-7, as Reeves led off the inning with a single to center and moved to third on a throwing error during an infield groundout to first base, as the fielder tried to complete the double play at second base. Bednar then drove Reeves in on a ground out to the second basemen to cut the deficit to three runs.
FSU answered back in the bottom of the seventh when Smit reached on a walk and came around to score on a throwing error to first during a ground ball later in the frame.
The Eagles didnt go down quietly, scoring two runs in the top of the eighth. Three-straight hits by Rivera, sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) and freshman Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) loaded the bases with no outs for the Green and Blue. Diaz connected for a ground out to the shortstop to bring in Rivera from third, before Selesky sent another ground out to second base to plate Suchy and cut the FSU lead to 11-9.
The Seminoles added an insurance run in their half of the eighth with a single up the middle by Brizuela, who stole second and later scored on a RBI single to center by Giovanny Alfonzo to give the Noles a 12-9 lead going into the ninth.
FGCU attempted to rally in the ninth with a leadoff single by Dwyer and a hit-by-pitch to Beisner to put runners on first and second with one out. The attempt proved unsuccessful as both runners were stranded by back-to-back outs to end the game.
Sophomore right-hander Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) was credited with a no-decision, giving up four runs on four hits and fanned four batters through 2.1 innings of work. Senior lefty R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) worked through 1.2 innings and gave up one run on three hits before handing the ball off to fellow senior righty Danny Patrick (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Pepperdine/Palm Beach State). Patrick gave up one hit in 1.1 scoreless innings of work before the Eagles went to junior right-hander Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Cooney (1-3) was hit with the loss, giving up five runs in just over an inning pitched. Sophomore right-hander Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) entered for Cooney in the seventh to get the final out of the frame and redshirt freshman Gabe Rivera (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) tossed the bottom of the eighth for FGCU and allowed one run on one hit.
FSU’s Gage Smith picks up his fourth win of the season (4-0) and Robby Coles recorded his seventh save in the win for the Seminoles.
Offensively, the Eagles were led by Rivera (2-for-4) and Suchy (2-for-5), who both collected two hits and a run scored on the night. Rivera also tallied a RBI in the loss, while every other starter in the game collected a hit for FGCU. Bednar recorded a team-high two RBI while Reeves scored a team-high two runs.
The Eagles will be back in action tomorrow when they face No. 5 Florida State in the finale of the two-game series at Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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.
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