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FGCU Baseball Sweeps Bellarmine to Open ASUN Conference Play

Courtney Padgett/FGCU Athletics

To begin ASUN conference play, the FGCU baseball team opened at home against the Bellarmine University Knights from March 15 to 17. The Eagles swept the Knights, winning all three games in the series.

The Eagles entered this series coming off an 8-7 road win, defeating the Florida International University Panthers in extra innings. FGCU aimed to continue this momentum against the Knights.

To start the first game of the series, the Eagles began with a three-run home run by redshirt junior shortstop Jacob Lojewski. This brought senior outfielder Ian Farrow and freshman infielder Charles Davalan home.

Later in the inning, senior utility player Robert Moya hit a double to bring in freshman designated hitter Evan Dempsey home. Moya also reached home on the next batter when senior catcher Mac Moise advanced on a double caused by a Knights’ error as the Eagles took a 5-0 lead in the first inning. 

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After a solo home run by the Knights in the fourth inning, the Eagles scored in the bottom of the fifth inning. Moya recorded a base hit that allowed freshman third baseman Javier Gorostola to score. Moya reached home several batters later when Davalan hit a double, sending two Eagles home. Davalan made it back home as Farrow hit a single to give the Eagles a 10-1 lead.

The Knights scored off of a two-run homerun in the seventh inning and a single in the ninth inning, but the Eagles’ lead was too large, and they won the first game of the series 10-4. 

“We are such a young team, and we have to grow,” head coach Dave Tollett said. “We have to mature and learn that every day is different because the pitcher on the circle is different. We have to come out tomorrow, learn from our mistakes last week and take care of business.”

The Eagles gained momentum early in game two when Farrow hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead. After several scoreless innings, Moya hit a two-home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Davalan then hit the Eagles’ second two-run home run of the game. Farrow rounded out this high scoring inning with a solo home run that extended the lead to 6-0. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Moise stole a run from a wild pitch, bringing the score to 7-0 for FGCU. The Eagles were unable to hold on to the shutout as the Knights hit a late two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning but still preserved the lead, winning 7-2. 

Determined to sweep the weekend, the Eagles started swinging early again in the final game of the series. FGCU scored eight runs in the top of the first inning, with all nine of the batters stepping up to the plate.  

Bellarmine scored a run at the top of the third inning on an RBI single. FGCU responded with five more runs in the bottom of the inning, cycling through their entire batting lineup in that inning, extending the lead to 13-1.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Knights scored two runs to cut the lead to 13-3. The game was now on pace to be called early due to mercy rule in the seventh inning, with the Eagles leading by ten runs.

After the Eagles scored more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the defense held off the Knights in the seventh inning and ended the game by mercy rule. FGCU won 14-3 and completed its first series sweep of the season. 

Moya contributed the most to the Eagles’ final win of the weekend with five RBIs, including a three-run homer in the top of the first inning. This capped off a weekend in which Moya was responsible for several scoring plays throughout the series.

“I have been previously struggling a little bit but it was nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Moya said. “My teammates and I did not let up. We kept pounding, pounding and pounding until the last pitch was called.”

After sweeping the Knights, FGCU hosted the USF Bulls in a non-conference game on March 19. In a very defensive game, both teams traded scores to make it 2-2 after five innings. With extra innings looming and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Dempsey hit a single with the bases loaded to send Davalan home, and the Eagles walked off the Bulls 3-2. 

The Eagles started the season 0-4 but have turned their season around. This win pushed FGCU’s record to 10-10. They return to Swanson Stadium to face the Florida International University Panthers on April 2.

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