@FGCU_Baseball Falls to No. 9 Florida, 7-1 at Hammond Stadium
WP | Ryan Harris (2-0): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
LP | Brady Anderson (2-2): 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team (24-14, 9-3 Atlantic Sun) fell behind No. 9 Florida (24-13, 9-6 SEC) early and never recovered at Hammond Stadium on Tuesday night. The Eagles managed just four hits while starter Brady Anderson worked 4.0 innings on the mound, gave up just two earned runs and struck out three.
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“Florida was just the better team tonight,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “We had some uncharacteristic errors, we’ve been playing well defensively and I think we allowed some of our bad at-bats to come out onto the field with us. It is what it is and we will go back to work tomorrow and get ready for North Florida.”
Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) made just his third start of the season and had given up just two runs over 11.0 innings in the previous two while striking out 14. Anderson allowed the most hits he had in any outing this season with nine but managed the damage nicely with just two earned runs to his credit.
The FGCU offense found its stroke late in this one, picking up back-to-back doubles in the seventh to score its only run of the ball game. Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) picked up two hits, the only Eagle to do so, including the RBI double in the seventh. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) doubled to increase his team lead in that category with 14 now for his only hit of the ball game and Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) singled to extend his team-leading hit streak to seven.
Florida got things started with back-to-back singles in the first to lead off the game and with runners on first and second with one away two batters later, Taylor Gushue singled to bring in the first run. The Gators would add an unearned run in the third and broke this one open with a pair in the fourth. Anderson struck out the first batter of the inning then gave up a double to left. With two away, Casey Turgeon singled to drive in a run and after advancing to second on an error, came around to score on a single through the right side.
The FGCU bats managed just two hits through the first six innings and did its damage after Florida put three more runs on the board in the top of the seventh. Overall the Gators would spray 15 hits across the Hammond Stadium turf to account for their seven runs in this one.
Pitching has been the calling card of the Eagles all season long and for the seventh time this year did not walk a batter with Anderson and two relievers combining to strike out seven Gators despite three errors from the defense.
The Eagles return to A-Sun play this Thursday when they welcome North Florida (15-21, 6-9 A-Sun) to Swanson Stadium. The Ospreys were picked to finish second in the A-Sun following the preseason voting, one spot ahead of FGCU who was picked third. Mercer (28-10, 11-4 A-Sun) was predicted by the league’s coaches to win the conference and will visit Swanson Stadium next weekend. UNF will likely see Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) on Friday night who currently boasts the second-best ERA in the nation at 0.66 with an 8-0 record to his credit.
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.