4/6/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 315
BOX SCORE (PDF)
WP | Gabe Friese (1-1): 2.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO
LP | Garrett Anderson (1-2): 0.1 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team (21-12, 7-2 Atlantic Sun) committed seven errors on Sunday afternoon allowing Kennesaw State (15-20, 3-9 A-Sun) to erase an early 6-1 deficit and ultimately come away with an 11-9 victory at Swanson Stadium and avoid the weekend sweep.
Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) started on the mound for the Green and Blue, coming into the game with a 2.10 ERA which stood third in the A-Sun and cruised through his first four innings of work but struggled through the fifth, allowing three runs to come across, cutting the FGCU lead to 6-4. English would finish with 5.0 innings pitched to his credit after giving up six hits and four runs.
“The errors really hurt us,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “We don’t do ourselves any favors when we throw the ball away that many times. We let them back in the game and it cost us.”
English left with the game with the lead and turned the ball over to Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) who struggled mightily, only getting one out in the sixth and giving up six runs. Three errors in the frame however kept any of the runs from going down in the books as earned. Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS) took over on the mound in the seventh and allowed just one more run to come across but the damage had already been done.
Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) stayed hot at the plate, going 3-4 with a run, raising his season average to .475 in 15 games since returning from injury. Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) drove in three runs in a 1-3 effort and scored once as well while three other FGCU players each added a pair of hits. In all the Green and Blue would spray 14 hits, their second most in a loss this season.
The FGCU offense jumped on the board early and often in this one. In the bottom of the first, Noll led off with a walk and Bottomley picked up the first of his trio of hits, advancing Noll over to third. Suchy flew out to right but drove in Noll to put the first run on the board. It would be the first of two sacrifice flies for Suchy on Sunday afternoon. Two more runs would come across for the Eagles in the second and Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) provided and RBI sac fly in the third to bring the lead up to 4-1 after English allowed a KSU run in the top half of the third.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Bottomley collected a one-out double and came around to score on a Suchy single. The junior from Bradenton, Fla. stole second, his 10th swipe of the season and scored on a Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) single two batters later pushing the score to 6-1.
Kennesaw State collected four-consecutive hits to begin the fifth inning which resulted ultimately in three runs coming across the plate for the visitors, cutting the FGCU lead to 6-4 and forcing English out of the game.
The Eagles were held scoreless in the fifth, the first zero on the scoreboard to that point for FGCU, opening the door for KSU’s big sixth. Anderson walked the first batter he faced then struck out the next before inducing a potential inning-ending double play ball. The routine ground ball bounced back to the freshman reliever who fielded it cleanly and turned to start the double-play at second but his throw was off target and everyone was safe on the play. A rally ensued and with the help of two more errors, KSU was able to put six runs on the board and take a 10-6 lead.
FGCU staged a small comeback in the seventh beginning with a leadoff double from Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central). Ryan O’Malley (San Jose, Ca./College of San Mateo) singled with one out to drive in Morey and Koerner followed with a double to bring in O’Malley. Noll then came to the plate and singled as well to bring in Koerner and complete the FGCU scoring for the afternoon.
The Eagles created a chance to come back in the ninth but would leave the bases loaded and come away with an 11-9 defeat at the hands of the Owls. Bottomley finished the weekend going 8-13 against KSU pitching. Noll also added eight hits while no other FGCU player would collected more than four.
FGCU returns the field on Tuesday at FAU (17-14, 5-10 C-USA) at 6:30 p.m. before returning to Swanson Stadium on Wednesday to face off with FAU once again at 6:30 p.m. A-Sun play will continue for the Eagles at Jacksonville (10-20, 5-7 A-Sun) next weekend before returning to face off with No. 12 Florida (20-12, 7-5 SEC) at Hammond Stadium on Apr. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the game at Hammond Stadium are on sale now through the FGCU Ticket Office.
ATLANTIC SUN CHAMPIONSHIP
For the first time in program history, the FGCU baseball team will play host to the 2014 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship set to take place May 21-25 at Swanson Stadium. The top eight teams in the standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the championship and compete in a double-elimination style tournament to determine the A-Sun’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are three-time A-Sun Regular Season Champions and finished second in the league last season.
Single-game tickets for FGCU Baseball are available at a cost of $6 for adults and $3 for children. Season tickets and tickets to the 2014 Atlantic Sun Championship are also available. For more information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call the ticket office at 239-590-7145.