@FGCU_Baseball Comes Up Short at No. 5 Miami, 7-3
WP | Thomas Woodrey (4-0): 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
LP | Nick Deckert (6-5): 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team (32-18, 15-6 Atlantic Sun) battled No. 5 Miami (35-14, 19-5 ACC) early on but late rallies by the Hurricanes put this one out of reach for the Green and Blue who ultimately fell 7-3.
Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) took the loss and worked through 2.1 innings on Wednesday night, surrendering four runs on five hits and striking out two before giving way to freshman Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS). Anderson pitched well in 3.1 innings on the hill, striking out three, allowing just one run and putting together a stretch during which he retired eight-consecutive Miami hitters. Andris Gonzalez (Miami, Fla./Indian River State College) relieved Anderson and got the first out of the seventh before giving way Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS) who allowed two runs to come in. Mario Leon (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) closed out the effort on the mound for the Eagles with a scoreless eighth to his credit.
Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) went 1-4 at the plate, extending his team-best hitting streak to 12 games. No Eagle would register multiple hits in this one and only Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla./Broward College) and Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) would pick up RBI’s while Colton Bottomley (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) scored two runs and reached base three times in a 1-3 effort.
“We left runners in scoring position and we didn’t pitch real well tonight,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “We just weren’t real sharp out there. They were better than us offensively and on the mound. We definitely had out chances and we just didn’t capitalize.”
In the bottom half of the first, the leadoff man for Miami walked and was followed by a single up the middle to put runners on first and third with no one out. Deckert collected his first strikeout of the afternoon but a groundout for the second out scored the first run of the ball game. Deckert would work out of the first however without further damage, limiting Miami to an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second the Hurricanes loaded the bases for Tyler Palmer who ripped a two-out single to left, scoring two and pushing the Miami lead to 3-0. Deckert would limit further damage however with a second strikeout of Zak Collins to escape the second.
Noll walked to lead off the third for FGCU and Bottomley came up with a single through the left side to put runners on first and second for the second time in the game. Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) bounced a ball in front of home plate that the Miami catcher was unable to handle, loading the bases for Rivera who ripped a hard ground ball towards third base that made it between the legs of the Canes third baseman allowing Noll and Bottomley to come around and score making it 3-2.
Miami put two runners on with back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom half of the third forcing Deckert out of the game. Anderson came on and plunked the first batter he faced to load the bases before giving up a sacrifice fly that scored the fourth run of the ball game for the Hurricanes. The freshman would strike out the next batter to bypass the threat.
With one away in the top of the fifth, Bottomley wore a pitch to reach and Suchy reached on an error bringing up Rivera who took one off the helmet to load the bases. With two away, Hoffner lined a ball up the middle that caromed off the second base bag allowing him to reach safely at first and at the same time bringing in Bottomley from third to cut the Miami lead to 4-3. That was all the Eagles would get in the fifth however.
Johnny Ruiz led off with a single for Miami in the bottom of the sixth and moved up to second on a sac bunt. Anderson retired the next two batters he faced before surrendering a hard hit single up that middle that slid past the diving glove of Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) allowing the run to score and pushing the Miami lead up to 5-3. Gonzalez came on to relieve Anderson but it was Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) who ended the inning, throwing out a would-be base stealer at third to end the frame.
The Eagles went down quietly in the top half of the seventh and in the bottom half, Gonzalez recorded the first out before giving up a single to Willie Abreu, ending his day in favor of Koerner who promptly gave up a single and a double bringing in two more Hurricane runs. The Eagles would work out of the seventh trailing 7-3 but would not mount a comeback over the final two frames, resulting in the loss.
FGCU had won each of the last two midweek games with Deckert on the hill, defeating USF and FAU in consecutive weeks. In his last outing against FAU, the Tallahassee native worked through 3.0 innings and allowed just one run to pick up his sixth victory.
The Green and Blue return home for senior weekend to take on defending A-Sun tournament champions ETSU (24-22, 11-9 A-Sun) in a three-game set at Swanson Stadium. The series is set to begin on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Full coverage of each game including live stats can be found at FGCUAthletics.com. If you can’t reach a computer, follow @FGCU_Baseball on Twitter or “like” FGCU Baseball on Facebook for daily news, photos and a constant stream of live updates during each game.
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.
Tickets to the 2014 Atlantic Sun Championship are now available. General admission day passes are available for $10 and tournament passes can be purchased for $45. Reserved seating day passes are available for $15 and tournament reserved seating passes are available for $55. For more information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call the ticket office at 239-590-7145.