3/15/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 497
PDF BOX SCORE
WP | Nick Deckert (3-2) – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO
LP | David Duncan (1-2) – 4.1 IP, 4 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The offense came alive for the FGCU baseball team (12-7) on Saturday night, piling a season-high 15 runs on Florida A&M (6-12) and extended its winning streak to six-games, settling into an opportunity to sweep the Rattlers tomorrow afternoon.
Coming off a 10-strikeout performance in his last outing, Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) took the ball for the Green and Blue and struggled through the first inning, giving up two runs, before settling in and throwing 5.0 innings, walking none and striking out seven. The junior would pick up his third win of the year as the Eagles were able to quickly erase the deficit and coast to the series-clinching victory.
It would take four relievers to nail down the Rattlers over the final four innings but at the end of it all Eagle pitching would strike out 17 batters and walk just two.
Four FGCU batters came up with multiple hits on Saturday night while three came up with multiple RBI. Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central HS) once again led the Eagles with three hits, drove in one, scored twice and stole two bags for the third-straight game. He has now hit safely in seven-consecutive games, the longest such streak for the Eagles this season while collecting 15 hits over that span and raising his batting average to .380, taking over the team lead.
Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotts HS) picked up two more hits for his ninth multi-hit game of the season and drove in a pair to put him on the list of four Eagles who now have double-digit RBI’s. Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) and Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) each drove in two runs of their own while Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Stoneman Douglas HS), making his first appearance of the season after coming back from injury, picked up his first hit and RBI of the season in the same at-bat.
“The bats have started to come alive and the pitching hasn’t skipped a beat,” head coach Dave Tollet surmised. “I’m seeing some good signs from such a young club with conference play right around the corner, and I’ll tell you what Gage Morey has been huge for us. We’ve been looking for someone to step in and fill that number two spot in the order and he has done that in a big way the last week or so.”
The action began in the first when Deckert got off to a slow start against the FAMU bats. He allowed a leadoff single then hit a batter with one out to put runners on first and second. A strikeout-double steal would put runners on second and third with two away for Michael Birdsong who singled to right-center, bringing in both runners and giving the Rattlers what would prove to be a short-lived 2-0 lead.
The Eagles began what will officially go down as a come-from-behind victory from that point forward. Morey singled with one out in the bottom half of the first and stole second then advanced to third on a fly-out. Kevin Young (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra Beach HS) would strike out but reach base as the swinging-third-strike bounced away from the FAMU catcher, allowing Morey to hustle home and score the first run of the ball game for FGCU.
After a quiet second, the Eagles began their assault on the scoreboard in the third. Diaz took a ball between the number and stole second to lead things off, bringing up Noll who reached on an error to put runners at first and second with no one out. Morey sacrificed both runners into scoring position and a passed ball allowed Diaz to come home and tie the score. Noll would come in on a sacrifice fly ball from Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) giving the Green and Blue a 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish.
Back-to-back one-out walks and a wild pitch put runners on second and third in the bottom of the fourth for Bottomley who picked up his first hit and RBI of 2014 with a single through the right side that brought home the fourth run of the game. Diaz picked up one of his two RBI with a sac bunt that brought home Selesky to make it 5-2 through four.
FGCU began to pile it on in the fifth when they picked up five more runs on four hits with the help of two FAMU errors to bring the lead up to 10-2 and after a scoreless sixth added four more in the seventh. The previous season-high run total was 13 and had been accomplished twice this year, first in a 13-10 win over Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 23 and again last weekend in the first game of a double header with Manhattan. Run number 14 came when Young singled on a slow-roller to the third baseman with two outs and the bases loaded allowing Noll to come in.
The 15th and final run crossed the plate in the eighth when Noll picked up a two-out single to right-center allowing Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS), who had picked up the first hit of his career earlier in the inning, to advance to third and bring in Adam Eggnatz (Tampa, Fla./Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate HS), who had reached on a fielder’s choice, to score and provide the final tally of 15-2.
Three FGCU players, Bottomley, Koerner and Bryan Voelkl (Bradenton, Fla/SCOF), picked up their first hits of the season on Saturday night. With 12 and eight stolen bases now, respectively, Noll and Morey rank first and second in the Atlantic Sun in that category. The 12 stolen bases from Noll would have been tied for tops in the nation heading into the weekend. FGCU’s 14 hits are second only to the 17-hit performance against B-CU on Feb. 23. Six-straight victories is by far the longest winning streak of the season and longest since the Eagles won 10 in-a-row from Apr. 26-May 8 of last season. It is also the fourth series victory for FGCU so far this season.
This is the final non-conference series before FGCU begin A-Sun play at USC-Upstate next weekend. The Eagles will play host to nationally ranked Miami and Hammond Stadium at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Green and Blue will be in search of the sweep of FAMU tomorrow at NOON and will serve as the opening act for the Atlantic Sun Women’s Basketball Championship game between FGCU and Stetson being held at Alico Arena at 3 p.m. Anyone with a ticket to the basketball game with be admitted to Swanson Stadium for free.
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.