No. 24 Eagles Land on Wrong Side of 7-3 Finale with Mercer
|Win: TEASLEY (6-2)||3.2||2||0||0||3||4|
|Loss: ENGLISH (0-1)||1.2||1||3||3||2||1|
MACON, Ga. – Dropping the first two games of the Atlantic Sun weekend series, the No. 24 FGCU baseball team was unable to prevent the series sweep, falling to Mercer, 7-3, in the Sunday afternoon finale in Macon, Ga.
FGCU now sits at 20-12 (6-6 A-Sun) after dropping its fourth-straight contest. Evening the all-time series at 9-9 following the weekend set, Mercer improved to 29-10 (10-5 A-Sun), as it recorded the first sweep in the all-time series since the Eagles did so in the first-ever meeting between the schools in 2008. The loss also secured the first A-Sun series sweep of the Eagles since then-No. 14 Stetson (May 6-8) did so at Swanson Stadium during the 2011 season.
The Eagles jumped out in front in the first inning with two runs. Freshman Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) began the game with a leadoff single to left field line followed by a sacrifice bunt by senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) to move Selesky to second. Junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South fork HS) then drove Selesky in with a single up the middle. Bednar scored two batters later when redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) singled through the left side to give FGCU a 2-0 advantage.
The Green and Blue increased its lead to 3-0 when sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) unloaded with a solo blast over the left field wall to open up the second inning.
Mercer tallied two runs in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to just one run. Joe Koehler worked a one-out walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sasha Lagarde. Chesny Young then shot a single through the right side to score Koehler from second. Nick Backlund later drew a walk to move Young to second and second run of the inning eventually scored on a single up the middle by Derrick Workman.
Young came through for the Bears again in the fifth, when he started the inning with a solo shot to left to make it a 3-3 ballgame.
The deadlock lasted until Mercer scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Workman drew a walk and Austin Barrett drove him in with a two-run homerun to left center. Following the two-run blast, Logan Gaines worked a free pass and was driven in on a RBI triple by David Reid-Foley to give the Bears a 6-3 lead.
Mercer tacked on one more run in the eighth thanks to a walk to Koehler, who moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a hit. Koehler came around to score on a wild pitch, increasing the advantage for Mercer to 7-3. The lead held over the final frame as the Bears finalized the victory with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Starting the contest for the Eagles, junior lefty Brandon Bixler (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) went five innings and allowed three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts in a no-decision. Sophomore Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) (0-1) was issued the loss, tossing 1.2 innings and allowing three runs on one hit and a pair of walks.
FGCU scored three runs on nine hits, as Selesky led the way from the leadoff position, scoring once in a 2-for-3 day that included a pair of walks. Bednar went 2-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI, while Reeves also supplied a 2-for-4 game. Suchy (1-for-2) picked up an RBI and a run scored via the home run.
Mercer scored seven runs on as many hits and a pair of FGCU errors. Senior righty David Teasley (6-2) earned the victory in relief, going 3.2 innings and allowing no runs on a pair of hits and three walks, striking out four.
FGCU returns to action on Tuesday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m., as it welcomes in-state power Florida (19-18, 8-7 SEC) for a night contest at Hammond Stadium, home of the Minnesota Twins spring training and Fort Myers Miracle minor league club. The Eagles swept the Gators earlier this season, clinching the first three-game sweep of UF on its home turf since Miami (Feb. 28-Mar. 1) did so during the 2009 campaign. A full preview of the mid-week contest will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com on Monday.
Fans can purchase tickets to the event at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com/tickets, or by calling 239-590-7145. Tickets can also be obtained at the FGCU Ticket office located at the entrance to Alico Arena.
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