The FGCU baseball team (28-12, 5-5 A-SUN) dropped the first game of the series against Kennesaw (24-18, 10-3 A-SUN) as the Eagles fell 2-1.
Head coach Dave Tollett sent redshirt senior Mario Leon to face Kennesaw’s A.J. Moore for the opening game. The Owls would be the first to get on the scoreboard. After a double from Jaylen Smith, Forrest Bramlett would send Smith home.
At the bottom of the third, the Eagles would tie the game. After junior Eric Gonzalez drew a lead-off walk, sophomore Elijah Eusebio would send Gonzalez to third with single for freshman Christian Proffitt. With an 0-1 count, the Cape Coral native would send Gonzalez 90 feet and score the tying run.
At the top of the fourth, the Owls would retake the lead. After Jake Franklin hit a lead-off single, he would then advance to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a throwing and fielding error.
The Eagles had two opportunities to score in the eighth and ninth inning, but were unsuccessful. In the eighth, Proffitt and sophomore Marc Coffers reached base, but a fly out from sophomore Alex Brait stopped the Eagles from scoring. In the ninth inning, senior Eli Lovell would hit a two-out single to hopefully get a rally for the Eagles. After sophomore Tyler Yeager was sent to pinch run for Lovell, Yeager was then picked off for the final out in the opening game.
Leon would be credited with his third loss of the season after throwing 7.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on nine hits while striking out five.
“We didn’t do the simple things today to come away with a win,” said Tollett. “Mario pitched really well tonight but give Kennesaw State credit. That’s a good ballclub and they came to play. We need to be better tomorrow to even up the series.”
Senior Parker Hamilton threw 1.2 scoreless innings while giving up one hit and striking out one batter.
Moore would earn the win after throwing seven innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking four batters and striking out five.
Jake McLinskey would earn his fifth save of the season after throwing two scoreless innings while giving up two hits and walking one batter.
Proffitt was the only Eagle with a multi-hit game as he went 2-3. Eusebio, Coffers, and Lovell were the only other Eagles that had one hit. Coffers also added his 20th stolen base of the season.