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No. 9 FGCU baseball’s losing streak continues as it suffers mid-week sweep to No. 19 FSU

(EN Photo / Brad Young)

Travelling to Tallahassee fresh off a series loss to JU, The No. 9 FGCU baseball team dropped its third and fourth straight games, losing to Florida State on a walk-off hit by Jackson Lueck 7-6 on Tuesday and 3-2 on Wednesday.

After playing all nine innings in the Seminoles walk-off victory on Tuesday, the teams only played five innings on Wednesday due to rain.

FGCU was without starring second basemen Matt Reardon and Alex Brait, who were both suspended four games for their involvement in the altercation on Sunday vs Jacksonville. 

Jake Smith, playing for Reardon at second base, homered and had three RBI’s on the night in the losing effort.

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Mario Leon was on the hill in Tallahassee for the Eagles, as the senior right hander has been FGCU head coach Dave Tollett’s mid-week starter this season. He has already picked up wins vs Florida, South Florida and Miami. 

“We’re never out of it with our offense,” said Tollett to FGCU athletics. “They have proven they can come back and Mario settled in, and he was pretty good. He was under the weather and he gave us a tremendous effort. He’s been throwing up all day, and he just came out and pitched for our school. I’m so proud of his effort tonight being how sick he was and two great programs playing against each other. It was going to be a big hit to win it. I didn’t to know if it was going to be us or them, but they got the big hit in the bottom of the ninth.”

Julio Gonzalez opened the game with an opposite field double, but after a Gage Morey sacrifice bunt advancing him to third, the Eagles were unable to get Gonzalez home from third with less than two out. 

The Seminoles got on the board first, as they jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to Carl Raleigh’s solo home run in the second.

FSU took advantage of some shaky FGCU defense and scored two more runs in the third after a failed pickoff attempt from Leon set the table for a two-run double from Quincy Nieporte to put the Seminoles up 3-0.

Nick Rivera got the Eagles on the board with a two-run home run on the season to bring the Eagles within one, making him the number one RBI leader in FGCU history. 

After Smith’s homer tied the game at three, the Eagles took the lead momentarily after Gonzalez tripled and came around to score on an error. 

Leon was unable to get through the fifth, as FSU tied the game and eventually took a 5-4 lead after Christian Townsend walked in a run.

Jake Smith doubled home two to continue the see-saw game as FGCU took a 6-5 lead. 

The Seminoles were able to even up the game in the seventh and after Richie Garcia was unable to catch Taylor Walls’s pop out in foul territory, he was able to reach and came around to score in Leuck’s hit.

Following their walk-off defeat on Tuesday, the Eagles were unable to tie the series losing to FSU 3-2 in five innings due to rain.

“It was another close loss against a tough opponent on the road,” FGCU head coach Dave Tollett said to FGCU athletics. “Early on, it didn’t look like we were going to be able to play the game, but it turned out the weather cleared up a bit. We knew we might not get the whole game in and couldn’t come through with the big hit when we needed it. We have another big conference series against Stetson this weekend and are looking to get back on track.”

Peyton Grey was on the hill for the Eagles and went four innings, giving up three runs and getting credit for a complete game after the game was postponed. 

After Nick Rivera broke the club record for RBI’s Tuesday night, Rivera picked up two more with a two-run single after Julio Gonzalez and Spencer Levine both singled earlier in the inning to put FGCU up 2-0 in the third. 

FSU got a run back in the third and took a 3-2 lead in the fourth after an RBI triple by Cal Raleigh who eventually came around to score on a hit by Dylan Busby.

The Eagles loaded up the bases in the fifth, but Freshmen Grant Stewart was able to get Corey Fehribach swinging in what ultimately was the last pitch of the game.

Peyton Grey went out to pitch in the fifth, but before he could, the rain started and the game was postponed handling the Eagles another loss.

FGCU will be back at it for a weekend series with Stetson as they continue their ASUN play on Friday, April 7 in Deland. 

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