FORT MYERS, Fla. – A seven-run sixth inning followed by an eight-run seventh quickly turned a 4-2 FGCU lead into a 19-2 runaway victory for the Eagles in the third and deciding game of a weekend non-conference series against Le Moyne Sunday at Swanson Stadium.
The Eagles’ 19 runs came on 20 hits, their third 20-hit performance of the season. FGCU accumulated double figure hits all three games this weekend against the Dolphins, hitting a combined .398 (45-113) as a team.
With the win, FGCU improves to 21-20 on the season and will be off until Friday evening when it welcomes the Atlantic Sun’s second place team Jacksonville (24-15, 14-7) to Swanson Stadium. First pitch on Friday, April 29 is slated for 6:30 p.m.
Senior Mikel Alvarez’s (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) 4-for-5 day at the plate featured five runs scored and two RBI, as he concluded the weekend with eights and is now just two shy of becoming just the second FGCU player to reach the 300-hit plateau. Just five players have done so in A-Sun history.
Senior Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla./North Port HS/Pasco-Hernando CC) highlighted three more players with three hits. Maxfield used a 3-for-6 day to pick up his program-leading 50th career double while driving in five runs to move into a tie with teammate Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Central HS) for the all-time RBI lead at 173.
Out of FGCU’s 20 hits on the day, 13 of them came over the sixth and seventh innings. Leading 4-2, the Eagles broke the game wide open with seven runs in the sixth, including six with two outs. Freshman Andrew Valencia’s bases-clearing double down the left field line highlighted the big inning.
Sophomore R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) worked his way into a win on the mound and was the beneficiary of the big sixth inning, as he improved to 2-0 on the season. Brown entered in the fourth for starter Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) and proceeded to toss 2.2 scoreless innings.
The Eagles didn’t wait to accumulate two outs before exploding for eight runs in the seventh, as the opening seven batters of the frame reached base safely en route to the home team taking a 19-2 lead. Junior Javi Sujo (Miami, Fla./Miami Sunset HS) made good on a leadoff walk to freshman Tyler Anderson (Cocoa, Fla./Coca HS) and drilled his second home run of the season for the first two runs. The next five batters reached base safely with RBI singles from Alvarez and freshman Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) coming along the way. Maxfield brought home his fourth and fifth RBI of the game with a one-out single, while a run-scoring single from Anderson and freshman Sean Dwyer (Leesburg, Fla./Tavares HS) capped the inning.
Senior Craig Crumbly (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region HS) tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth innings before senior Jack Wagoner (Berlin, Conn./Northwest Catholic/St. Petersburg) and freshman Brandon Bixler (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) combined to close the game in the ninth.
Two of FGCU’s three freshmen in the starting lineup, Bednar and Jake Foley (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) combined to go 6-for-11 with three runs scored a pair of RBI. In total, the five freshmen who saw time in the game for the Eagles went 9-for-17 with five walks, eight runs scored and seven RBI.
Sujo’s 2-for-5 day at the plate was his 14th multi-hit game of the season, while sophomore Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) extended his hit streak to 10 games. Roberson was able to fend off Maxfield from taking over the RBI lead with his career-high five RBI by driving in a pair of runs of his own.
Seven different players took the mound for Le Moyne (13-25) on the day, including six over the final 3.1 innings after starter Mark Kuzma came out.