@FGCU_Baseball Uses the Bullpen to Hold on to 3-2 Victory
WP | Nick Deckert (6-4): 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
LP | Seth McGarry (0-1): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
SV | Sterling Koerner (2): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
The FGCU baseball team (29-17, 12-6 Atlantic Sun) made it interesting late but used yet another collective effort from the bullpen to secure the 3-2 victory over Florida Atlantic (22-22, 10-14 C-USA) on Tuesday night in Boca Raton.
Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) worked through 3.0 innings and struck out three allowing just one run and three hits. Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) came on in relief and tossed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, retiring six in-a-row after walking the first batter he faced. Mario Leon (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) took over for Anderson in the sixth and struck out two in two scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Brad Labozzetta (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland HS). Labozzetta got the first two outs of the eighth before Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS) came in to close this one out for his second save of the season.
Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) went 3-4 at the plate with a pair of singles and his A-Sun leading 17th double to go with a pair of runs scored for FGCU. Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla./Broward College) drove in both runs for the Eagles on Tuesday night with a single in the second and fly in the fourth and scored a run.
“It was a nice collective effort tonight,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “We got nice outings from all of our pitchers and our bats came up with big hits in big situations. This is a quality win for us heading into NKU this weekend.”
Stephen Kerr led off the game with a hit for FAU and stole second after Deckert picked up a strikeout for the first out, his 60th of the year. Brendon Sanger worked a 13-pitch at bat before singling to right side, putting runners on first and third with one out. Tyler Rocklein would lift a sacrifice fly to center and score Kerr from third to give FAU an early 1-0 lead Deckert would pick up another strikeout to end the inning without further damage.
The Eagles responded with three-straight hits to get things rolling in the top of the second. Rivera swung away at the first pitch he saw and blooped a single into shallow center. Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) followed suit with a single of his own down the right field line, moving Rivera over to third for Hoffner who ripped a single through the left side to score Rivera and raced into second on the throw to third. The Eagles stranded the remaining two runners however leaving the score tied 1-1.
In the top of the fourth it was Rivera again getting things started this time with a double to left and advanced to third when Tillery grounded out to short. Hoffner then came up and lifted a sacrifice fly to center that brought in Rivera to give the Green and Blue a 2-1 lead. Blake Berger (Jacksonville, Fla./Sante Fe College) would double in a run in the ninth to add some insurance for the Green and Blue.
In the bottom of the ninth, Koerner came out in search of his second save of the season and saw the first two batters he faced reach as a result of back-to-back FGCU errors. One run would come across to make it 3-2 but with two outs and a runner on third, Koerner was able to induce a pop-up to short to secure the victory for FGCU.
FGCU now leads the series 9-4 after Tuesday’s tilt. Earlier this month the Eagles shutout the Owls, 1-0 at Swanson Stadium in a game that saw just seven hits combined. Last season was the first time that the Eagles did not come away with at least one win, dropping both meetings with the Owls by a combined score of 18-8.
On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s this season FGCU now holds 4-6 record against the likes of USF, Michigan, Miami (Fla.) (2x), No. 1 Florida State, Florida A&M, FAU and No. 9 Florida. FGCU is 2-2 on the road in mid-week action and has been outscored 46-27 overall.
The Eagles will return to the field next weekend to continue A-Sun play at Northern Kentucky (13-28, 6-12 A-Sun). It will be a three-game series set to begin Friday at 3 p.m. and will continue on Saturday at 1 p.m. before concluding on Sunday at Noon. The Eagles are 3-0 all-time against the Norse and will be making their first trip Highland Heights, Ky.
Full coverage of each game including live stats and internet radio 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.