FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla./North Port HS/Pasco-Hernando CC) equaled a program record for career doubles during his 4-for-5 night at the dish to lead a 17-hit attack by the FGCU baseball team during its convincing 12-1 win over Bethune-Cookman Wednesday night at Swanson Stadium.
With the win, the Eagles complete the two-game sweep of the Wildcats, out-scoring them 17-3 over the last two nights. FGCU is now 17-16 on the season, while Bethune-Cookman’s (19-17) two losses to the Blue and Green come after winning nine of their previous 11 games.
Maxfield’s season-high four hits featured a pair of doubles that moved him into a tie for FGCU’s all-time lead with 47 two-baggers, including 13 this season. The North Port, Fla. native also extended his hit streak to 10 games, his second double figure streak of the season. Also included in Maxfield’s big night were three runs scored and three RBI.
FGCU’s 17 hits included eight extra-base knocks, highlighted by senior Robert Greene’s (Cape Coral, Fla./Mariner HS) third home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth. Greene took over behind the plate for sophomore Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) in the fifth inning. Reeves reached base in all three of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with a double, triple and three RBI.
As impressive as the Eagles were at the plate, the pitching staff held its own as five different pitchers combined to limit Bethune-Cookman to six hits. Senior Craig Crumbly (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region HS) made his first start since 2009, going three innings and allowing just one run on two hits.
Freshman Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) took over in the fourth and tossed three scoreless en route to picking up the win and improving to 3-1. Cooney is the second freshman in as many nights (Ricky Knapp) to earn a win on the mound for the Eagles, striking out three and giving up just two hits.
FGCU set the tone early and often, jumping out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the second inning and eventually plated multiple runs in four of their first five at-bats. Maxfield and Reeves drove in all five runs over the first two innings.
The Eagles put the game away in the fourth and fifth innings with five more runs to stretch their lead to 10-1. After both Maxfield and Reeves reached base to leadoff the fourth, junior Javi Sujo (Miami, Fla./Miami Sunset HS/Middle Georgia College) delivered an RBI single that was followed by a run-scoring double from freshman Jake Foley (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS). In the fifth, Maxfield record-tying RBI double and Greene’s two-run bomb over the left field wall accounted for the three runs.
Freshman Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) four-hit game was his second of the season, as he also scored three runs and walked once. Batting sixth for the 17th time this season, Sujo went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Eight of the nine starters in the FGCU lineup recorded at least one hit.
FGCU will start the second half of its Atlantic Sun season on Friday when it travels north to take on Kennesaw State. The sixth place Eagles will take on the fifth-place Owls (19-16, 8-6) in a crucial conference series. Friday’s opener is slated for 6 p.m.