Eagle Bats Struggle as USF Downs #FGCU 5-1
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
USF (4-0)
FGCU (3-2)
2/18/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 708
Win: SERRALLONGA (1-0) 5.041012
Loss: GONZALEZ (0-1) 0.221000
ALFONSO (USF) 212110
YOUNG (FGCU) 402000

WP | J. Serrallonga (1-0)  –  5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
LP | A. Gonzalez (0-1) – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
SAVE | None

– The FGCU baseball team (3-2) used seven pitchers on Tuesday night to try and get past in-state rival USF (4-0) but a lack of timely hitting doomed the Green and Blue as the Bulls were able to capitalize on their opportunities to come out on top, 5-1, in this one to remain unbeaten.

Freshman Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) took the ball for FGCU in the first start of his young career and after a rocky first inning settled in to toss four strong innings of four-hit ball allowing just one earned run. FGCU was able to tie the score in the second but would not keep up with USF as it continued to tack on runs throughout the rest of the ball game. Andris Gonzalez (Miami, Fla./Indian River State College) would take the loss in relief of Anderson after giving up one run, unearned, in 0.2 innings of work, facing  just four batters.

“It was disappointing,” head coach Dave Tollett added after the game. “Garrett settled in and pitched well after the first and USF just came up with the timely hitting and we didn’t. We certainly had our opportunities and they capitalized on theirs.”

Anderson began his shaky first by giving up a triple to right off the bat of the USF leadoff man then followed that up by plunking the two-hole hitter to put runners on first and third with no one out right away. The freshman was able to induce a double play at the expense of allowing the first run of the game but that was all the Bulls would get in the first.

The Arcadia, Fla. native settled in and worked a quick second despite giving up a pair of two-out hits. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) walked to lead off the bottom of the second and was followed by a base hit off the bat of designated hitter Kevin Young (Ponte Verde Beach Fla./Ponte Verde Beach HS). Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) came to the plate and rolled what appeared to be a double play ball to the USF first baseman who airmailed his throw to second into left field allowing Rivera to circle the bases and score to tie the game. The Eagles would however strand the remaining runners and leave the second with a 1-1 tie.

Gonzalez came on to make his first appearance of the season in relief of Anderson after uneventful third and fourth innings. He was able to get the first two outs but with runners on first and second, Tollett opted to go with right-hander Mario Leon (Naples Fla./Gulf Coast HS) to get the Eagles out of the inning. Leon would give up a hit to give the Bulls a 2-1 advantage through five.

Unable to answer in the fifth, FGCU came out in the sixth and saw its first baseman Rivera leave the game after taking a one-hopper in the face while trying to scoop an incoming throw. Leon would give up another run before turning the ball over to Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) who worked out of the sixth but not before allowing a triple to the first batter he faced. In an attempt to pick off the runner at third, Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) sent his throw soaring down the left field line which kept Deckert’s run from being earned.

The Eagles would produce just one base runner in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and that runner reached on an error. It was not until the ninth inning when Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla/Broward College) singled to center for his first hit of the season would the Eagles pick up another hit.  

Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS) relieved Deckert and tossed an impressive eighth, striking out two. The Bulls would add a fifth run in the ninth off Liam Rafferty (Ashburnham, Mass./Sacred Heart Univ.) and Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) to provide the difference as the Eagles mounted little resistance in the ninth to fall to 3-2 and see their series advantage over USF shrink to 5-3.

Young was the only FGCU player to register multiple hits as USF’s Janick Serrallonga tossed 5.0 innings, spraying four hits and striking out two to pick up his first decision of 2014 after locking down a save for the Bulls this weekend.

FGCU travels to Daytona to visit Bethune-Cookman this weekend in a three game series to take place Feb. 21-23. Game one will be a 6:30 p.m. on Friday with the games on Saturday and Sunday slated for 2 p.m. starts. The Eagles lost both matchups with B-CU at Swanson Stadium last season and are behind in the all-time series 5-7.  

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