After defeating Michigan in their first-ever NCAA tournament game, the FGCU baseball team dropped their next two games, eliminating them from the NCAA tournament.
On Saturday, the Eagles lost 2-1 to No. 4 Davidson and fell into the elimination bracket and then fell on Sunday 10-1 to finish the season.
It was a battle of southpaws in the second game of the tournament as Josh Dye went up against Davidson’s Evan Roberts. Both pitchers finished the game with eight innings pitched, but Roberts had the upper hand, allowing only one run compared to Dye who allowed two.
“I thought it was a great pitchers duel,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “Roberts was good. Dye was good. They got the key hit. We didn’t get the key hit. I thought we hit several balls on the screws. They made some great plays defensively. We just could not get anything to fall, but (I’m) happy with our effort, especially Dye. I thought it was the best game he’s pitched all year against a real good offense.”
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead after they started the second with three straight singles scoring Brian Fortier with the first run.
The Eagles had a chance to get the run back in the third, but after a single by Gage Morey and a double by Spencer Levine, the Eagles left them stranded still down a run.
Davidson added a second run in the eighth on an RBI single from Eric Jones to go up 2-0 as Dye neared 120 pitches on the night.
Dye finished off the eighth after throwing a career-high in innings pitched.
“I thought I was fine (physically),” Dye said. “I made a good pitch. The guy just got a barrel to it and came around. I don’t worry about the pressure, and I just pitch my game. I’m not a guy worried about the fans cheering or anything like that. I just go out and do my thing.”
In the ninth, Nick Rivera hit his third home run of the tournament and 20th of the season, but the next three Eagles were retired by Westin Whitmore to end the game.
On Sunday, the Eagles were right back at it against No. 1 UNC with Garrett Anderson on the mound, but once again FGCU fell behind early as the Tar Heels plated a run in the first and two in the second to go down 3-0.
Starter Trevor Grey limited FGCU to just one hit through the first four innings, and in the top of the fifth, UNC scored two more on consecutive RBI singles from Tyler Lynn and Zack Gahagan to increase their lead to 5-0.
The Tarheels went on to add one more in the seventh and four in the eighth, earning a 10-1 win.
Despite being eliminated, the Eagles wrapped up their most historic season with a program-best 43 wins, which included their first ever win verse a top-ranked opponent.
“I mean this is just good for everything, for recruiting, for us to put more fans at games, Rivera said. “Again, I think it’s just great for us just to open the gates and get to a regional. And for me, a senior, to help lead, that was very special.”