No. 21 FGCU baseball knocks down No. 1 FSU
For the first time in program history, the No. 21 FGCU baseball team defeated the number one team in the country, No. 1 Florida State 5-2 at JetBlue Park 5-2.
The Eagles recently tied a program record for wins against a top-ranked opponent by sweeping the then No. 2 UF in a home and home series, and now the Eagles have broken that mark with their win on Wednesday.
“Florida State is a quality program year end and year out, one of best programs in the country,” FGCU head coach Dave Tollett said. “It just feels really great to beat the number one team in the country.”
Mario Leon made the start for the Eagles, and he went up against Ed Voyles for the Seminoles.
Voyles only would get through a third of an inning before being replaced on the mound by Will Zirzow.
Despite trailing 2-0 before coming to bat in the first, the Eagles scored three runs in the home half thanks to a two-run double by Eli Lovell. Lovell would eventually come around to score thanks to a throwing error by the FSU’s catcher Cal Raleigh.
The Eagles scored again in the third, thanks to an RBI from Spencer Levine, giving FGCU a 4-2 lead after three innings.
Mario Leon settled down and got through four innings, holding FSU to just the two runs.
Peyton Gray came in relief and would get through two-and-one-third scoreless innings, though he would leave in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and one out.
Kenton Herring came in and picked up two strikeouts versus the top two hitters in FSU’s lineup to keep the Eagles ahead 4-2.
“I came in and I was amped up, ready to go,” said Herring. “I struggled to find the strike zone a bit. Their crowd got real loud on the 3-1 [pitch], our crowd got louder, and I struck that kid out. I’ve never heard a baseball game so loud for FGCU.”
FGCU added an insurance run in the eighth inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by Richie Garcia, and Sterling Koerner came into the game in the ninth and picked up his fifth save of the year, retiring the Seminoles in order.
The Eagles head into the weekend with a record of 15-3 before facing Rutgers for a three-game series in Fort Myers. The three-game series will kick off on Friday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Swanson Stadium.