3/22/2014 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Attendance: 104
3/22/2014 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Attendance: 111
WP | Nick Deckert (4-2): 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
LP | David Roseboom (1-4): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO
WP | Jack English (1-1): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
LP | Dylan Parker (0-2): 2.1 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The FGCU baseball team (16-8, 3-0 Atlantic Sun) kept the bats rolling on Saturday while the pitching continued to cruise, sweeping a doubleheader with USC-Upstate (9-16, 1-5 A-Sun) to complete a perfect start to A-Sun play for the first time since 2010. That season the Eagles also started 3-0 with a sweep of the Spartans on the road.
In the first game of the afternoon Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) took the ball and dueled with David Roseboom for six innings of scoreless baseball until Roseboom finally blinked in the seventh. Deckert would complete seven scoreless and Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) would take care of the rest to secure the 4-0 victory.
Jack English (Delray Beach Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) made his fourth start of the year in the second game of the double-dip and registered his longest outing of the season, tossing seven innings of two hit ball without allowing an earned run. Four relievers cleaned up the final two innings for English to give him his first win of 2014.
The FGCU bats hammered out 28 hits, including two homeruns en route to collecting 21 runs over the two games. For the series, FGCU outscored the Spartans 29-5 on the weekend to go with a pair of shutouts, the first back-to-back shutouts for the Eagles this season. The 17 runs in game two are also a season high.
“We put together a complete weekend,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “Our pitching did what they’ve been doing all year and our offense really stepped up and showed what they are capable of. A sweep in this league is huge anytime you can get one.”
In game one, the two starters dueled for six innings but in the seventh, Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) singled to lead off and gave way to Adam Eggnatz (Tampa, Fla./Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate HS) as a pinch runner. After being sacrificed to second, Eggnatz would come around to score on an Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) single, breaking the scoreless tie.
FGCU would break the game open in the eighth when Zack TIllery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) connected for a three-run homerun, his first of the season and only hit of the first game. Anderson then relieved Deckert in the bottom half and shut the door on the Spartans the rest of the way.
Game two had a quite a bit more action on the offensive side, especially for FGCU. Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) led the game off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) singled through the left side to score Noll easily. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) and Tillery then picked up a single and a double, respectively, to bring in two more runs and give English plenty of run support before he even took the mound.
After a scoreless second, the Eagle offense exploded in the third. Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central) singled to get things started and moved up to third on a Suchy double. A throwing error would bring in both Morey and Suchy and after walks loaded the bases, Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) doubled in two more runs, giving the Green and Blue a 6-0 lead. The Eagles would add two more in the third to give English a 9-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third.
After taking a 10-0 lead in the fifth on a Bottomley solo shot, his first of the season, the Eagles came alive again in the sixth. With two out and Rivera on second, it was Bottomley again coming up with the hot bat driving in the 11th FGCU run of the ball game. Two more runs would come across to make it 13-0 through six.
English would pitch into the eighth with a 16-0 lead now but gave way to the bullpen after putting the first two batters he faced on base. The bullpen would allow five USC-Upstate runs to come across over the final two innings but the offense had done a more than adequate job of securing the victory in this one, 17-5 was the final.
After a 20-game homerless drought that dated back to last season, five long balls of come off of the FGCU bats in the last seven games, all five coming from different players. Three FGCU players drove in four runs or more this weekend while Suchy raised his team-leading season total to 18 with five against the Spartans. Nine different players drove in a run in the series.
FGCU starting pitching did not allow an earned run in the series and walked just one batter, striking out 18. All three starters went at least seven innings, the first time the Eagles have done that in a three-game stretch this season. Only one of the five USC-Upstate runs this weekend was earned.
The Eagles will be back in action on Wednesday at Miami (12-10, 4-2 ACC) before continuing A-Sun play at Stetson (8-16, 1-2 A-Sun) on Friday.