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Smith comes through with game-winning hit in tenth inning

The FGCU baseball team earned a crucial win to open up their road trip with a 4-3 win in extra innings.

The game was tied in the tenth inning and after a couple of walks, pinch hitter Jake Smith hit a game winning RBI single as the Eagles improved to 25-7 (3-1) this season.

Mario Leon made an excellent start as he gave FGCU seven innings allowing two runs, but did not factor in the decision. Trey Vickery allowed a run in the eighth and Kenton Herring tossed the final 2.1 innings to earn the win.

“Earlier in the year we had a few games where we had to grind out wins,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “We knew these games were going to be tough and those earlier games prepared us for this. I’m proud of the way the guys continued to fight. I thought Mario pitched good and kept us in a position to win and that was a great at-bat from Jake. For him to come off the bench like that and come through for us was huge.”

Jay Hayes got the scoring going for the Eagles with a two-run double to give FGCU a 2-0 lead. The Dolphins responded with a run in the home half and eventually tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the third.

Jacksonville threatened to score in the bottom of the sixth, but Leon was able to get a much-needed 1-6-3 double play to retire the side. Just a half-inning later, Gage Morey delivered an RBI single to put the Eagles back in front for the time being.

After Leon departed after allowing just two hits, Vickery immediately gave up two hits and though Eli Lovell looked to have a play at the plate after a single with runners on first and second, but had trouble fielding the ball and the tying run scored.

Kohl Gilmore was one of the two base runners to reach in the tenth, and Cameron Krzeminski pinch ran for Gilmore to score the game-winning run after Smith pinch hit for Christian Proffitt.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday, with Josh Dye scheduled to make the start as the Eagles look for a series win. They will play a second game 30 minutes after due to the threat of rain on a Sunday.

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