By Jake Henning
The FGCU men’s baseball team played two games against No. 5 University of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, losing their first game 15-0 on Tuesday night and coming back to win 7-2 on Wednesday.
While the Eagles only accrued four hits over the span of nine innings on Tuesday, the Gators tallied fourteen off of six FGCU pitchers.
The only four players to get hits for the Eagles were Seniors Eric Gonzalez, Keith Stevens and Juniors Alex Brait and Marc Coffers. FGCU loaded the bases only one time but failed to take advantage of it.
The Gators started right away in the first inning, with Florida’s shortstop Brady McConnell sending a rocket over the centerfield wall. Three other Florida players went on to hit home runs over the course of the night as well.
The No.5 ranked team scored twelve runs in the first five innings and completely shut down any chance of a comeback.
All FGCU pitchers combined to have six strikeouts over the course of nine innings and none pitched more than two innings. Sophomore pitcher Gus Carter led the team with three strikeouts, only pitching an inning and two-thirds.
“We left the bases loaded early in the game” men’s baseball head coach Dave Tollett said. “We had chances but were unable to capitalize on them. And we gave Florida some extra outs. With a team that’s as good as that program is, you can’t afford to make that many mistakes. But the good thing about baseball is that we’ve got another shot tomorrow.”
Recuperating from their loss the previous night, the FGCU men’s baseball team came back to grab a 7-2 win from No.5 Florida Wednesday night.
The Eagles turned their four hits from Tuesday night into nine hits and seven runs on Wednesday night.
FGCU had a great start from Senior pitcher Evan Lumbert, as he lasted seven innings and struck out six Gator batters. He gave up two runs and three hits ending his no-hit bid, handing the ball over to Junior Hunter McGarry. McGarry pitched the last two innings of the game and had two strikeouts during his closing performance.
FGCU hitters came to life as well, as the Eagles scored seven runs before Florida could even get on the board. The star for FGCU was outfielder Jay Hayes, who had three hits in four at-bats and drove in 2 runs. Junior Richie Garcia also added two hits, both of which were doubles to the outfield.
Florida had five players pitch in Wednesday’s loss and only one of the them lasted three innings. The Gators combined to have seven strikeouts, while the two FGCU pitchers had eight in total.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Gators managed to pull together three hits and two runs.
2017 was the last time FGCU beat the Gators, sweeping Florida in a two-game series before going on to win the ASUN championship. Florida was ranked No.2 in that same season.
Next on the schedule for the Eagles will be returning home to take on Quinnipiac in a three-game series this weekend, March 8-10. Friday’s game for FGCU will be starting at 5 p.m., with the Saturday game beginning at 2 p.m. and the series finale set to start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.