With a chance to claim its seventh series win of the season, the No. 12 FGCU baseball team defeated Jackson State 6-4 to claim the series win ahead of their last matchup on March 26.
The Eagles added two runs in the eighth inning to go up 6-2, and those two runs would be the difference as Jackson State rallied with two in the ninth, but couldn’t tie game.
“Those insurance runs are always huge,” head coach Dave Tollett said in a recent FGCU Athletics press release. “The eighth inning has been a great inning for us. It seems like in the eighth we always tack on one or two.”
Peyton Gray made the start for FGCU and picked up the win working into the sixth inning. Christian Townsend got a big out in the sixth before Kutter Crawford pitched the final three innings, picking up the save.
Crawford has been a mainstay in the Eagle rotation, but after some tightness in his arm, the Eagles eased him back in by pitching him three innings out of the bullpen.
It was a slow start for both teams, but in the home half of the fourth, the Eagles got an RBI hit from Eli Lovell and a sacrifice fly from Alex Brait to take a 2-0 lead.
After retiring the first 13 batters he would face, Grey allowed a one-out double to Bryce Brown that lead to Brown coming around to score giving the Tigers their first run of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, for the second straight day, the Eagles capitalized on mistakes by Jackson State’s defense. Julio Gonzalez appeared to have hit into a double play after a Matt Reardon leadoff single, but Wesley Reyes dropped the throw from the second basemen Cornelius Copeland, resulting in everyone reaching first and second safely.
With runners on first and second, Corey Fehribach increased FGCU’s lead with an RBI double to put the Eagles ahead 3-1. Adding to the Eagles’ lead, Eli Lovell knocked in his second run of the game in the fifth on a sacrifice fly that plated Gonzalez.
The Tigers responded with one in the sixth, but Christian Townsend was able to get one big out to keep the Eagles ahead. Reardon and Gonzalez added RBI doubles in the sixth to put the Eagles up 6-2.
Jesus Santana had a pinch hit two-run double in the ninth, but the Eagles still were able to take it 6-4.
“That’s a good ball club on the other side,” Fehribachto said to FGCU Athletics. They’re scrappy team, and it’s a good series win.”
The Eagles will look for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. when Josh Dye gets the ball for FGCU.