The No. 12 FGCU baseball team knocked off its third-ranked opponent of the season Wednesday night, defeating No. 21 USF 2-1.
Spencer Levine sixth inning home run proved to be the game-winner as FGCU picked up its 19th win of the season and snapped the Bulls’ 19-game win streak.
Mario Leon (1-1) made the start for the Eagles and picked up the win going six innings with a career-high eight strikeouts.
“Everything was on,” Leon said to FGCU Athletics. “In the first inning, I struggled a bit with my changeup command, but after that, I got some confidence in it. I was throwing my breaking ball for a strike. I was throwing it good when I was ahead in the count. Had good fastball command so luckily everything was going right.”
Sterling Koerner struck out the side in the ninth and tied a program record with his 14th career save. He also now ranks third in the nation in saves with seven on the season.
FGCU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third. With two outs, Matt Reardon took one the other way for an RBI hit scoring Eli Lovell for the first run of the game.
The game would remain 1-0 until the sixth when Bulls got the game even on an RBI hit by Joe Genord to tie the game.
However, the Eagles responded on Levine’s home run and behind two innings of Kenton Herring in the bullpen, the Eagles ended the nation’s second-highest win streak, USF’s 19-game win streak.
“They’re a very good baseball team,” head coach Dave Tollett said in an FGCU Athletics press release. “But I’ll tell you what, it was two great baseball teams facing off tonight and we just got a great effort from Mario. I mean eight strikeouts, no walks and a big hit for Spencer Levine. It was a great college baseball game.”
FGCU will be right back at it on Friday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., as the Eagles kick off a three-game series against Jackson State at Swanson Stadium.