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Baseball Dominates the Dolphins by Sweeping Series

Lexi Harbach/FGCU Athletics

Struggle has been the theme for FGCU’s baseball team, which has lost five out of its last six games. They looked to change this narrative in their series against the Jacksonville University Dolphins from May 3 to 5. The Dolphins walked into Swanson Stadium, leading the ASUN Conference standings with a 15-6 record. Their lead diminished as the Eagles dominated the weekend by sweeping the series.

FGCU entered this matchup, having lost its last two conference series. The first of these series came against the Austin Peay State University Governors, which the Eagles won dominantly 10-3 to open the series on April 19. However, the Eagles did not carry this momentum into the next two games, losing those matchups with a combined score of 18-28.

This trend continued the following week against the Lipscomb University Bisons. The Eagles won their first game in dominant fashion, outscoring the Bisons by nine runs for an 11-2 victory. They dropped the next two games, losing both by 6-7. They look to turn this around against the ASUN Conference team at the top of the standings.

Senior catcher Mac Moise set the tone for the series, as he was able to put the Eagles on the board early in game one. He doubled to left center field, allowing freshman right-fielder Charles Davalan to come in for the run.

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Davalan was able to score two innings later after he stole third base. Dolphins’ catcher sophomore Nick Delisi overthrew the base, trying to get the Eagles’ runner out before he got to the base. This resulted in an unearned run as Davalan came home for his second time.

After neither team scored in the fourth inning, the Dolphins scored at the top of the fifth. A flyout to the right field gave Jacksonville University its first score in the series. This was followed up by an unearned run off a passed ball, which tied the score up 2-2 just past the halfway point.

The game went scoreless through the following four innings, resulting in the game being extended into extra innings. The winning run came from freshman third baseman Javier Gorostola, who hit a walk-off home run to conclude the game.

Going into the second game of the series, the Eagles had the opportunity to win their first series in just under a month. The game started with issues, with a two-hour delay due to lightning before the game got underway. This shifted the start time from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

This setback did not affect any of the teams, as they both scored one run in the first inning. The Dolphins scored their first run off a single to right field, with the Eagles tying the score up with a home run by Davalan. The momentum would fall in the Eagles’ direction as they scored five runs over the course of the next five innings.

The scoring run began with a flyout to the right field by senior designated hitter Ian Farrow, which allowed redshirt junior second baseman Trevor Kole to come in for the run. This was followed by a home run to right field from freshman left fielder Evan Dempsey, which brought Davalan in for his third run of the weekend.

After going scoreless in the fourth inning, the Eagles would score once in each fifth and sixth inning before the Dolphins could get themselves back on the scoreboard. Jacksonville University’s next score came off a home run to left field. This was followed up by a grounded out to shortstop, allowing another Dolphins’ run to come in, lessening their deficit to 3-6.

Jacksonville stood no chance after the Eagles went on a scoring run at the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring five runs. These runs came from home runs by both Moise and senior first baseman Robert Moya, which brought numerous Eagles’ in to score. FGCU scored one last run in the eighth inning to win the series with a dominant 12-3 game.

This win secured the series for the Eagles. They had not won a conference series since April 12-14, when they beat the Stetson University Hatters in two out of three games. FGCU looked to sweep the series, something they have not done since versing the Central Arkansas Bears from April 5-7.

The third game of the series was another high-scoring affair. Both teams scored multiple runs in the first inning, the most notable of which stemmed from a home run by Jacksonville University. The Dolphins exited the first inning with a 3-2 lead, their first lead of the weekend.

They extended this lead in the second inning, scoring two runs. The Dolphins’ lead held until the fifth inning, in which both teams scored. Jacksonville University scored one run to make the score 6-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. FGCU went on a tear, scoring four runs to tie the Dolphins 6-6.

The first of these runs came off a fielder’s choice, which allowed Davalan to come in for the run. This was followed by junior center fielder Harrison Povey and redshirt junior shortstop Jacob Lojewski, who both doubled down the right-field line. They were able to bring in three runners between the two of them.

Although the Dolphins scored at the top of the sixth inning, the momentum shifted to the Eagles as Lojewski hit his seventh home run of the season in the seventh inning. This gave the Eagles their first lead of the game. They entered the eighth inning with an 8-7 advantage as Lowkeski brought himself and Povey in to score.

The Dolphins scored their last run of the game at the top of the ninth, tying the score 8-8 and putting the Eagles in control of the game. They went on to win the game on a walk-off walk as the Dolphins pitcher walked numerous Eagles batters. Lojewski came in for the winning run, and the Eagles won their last game of the series 9-8. 

“I don’t really think we felt that pressure,” Lojewski said. “We saw ourselves as underdogs, obviously, because they’re a one seed, and it gave us kind of a chip on our shoulder, and we were able to play through it.”

Lojewski was the series’ best player, as he had one home run, five RBIs, and ten hits through three games. In the series’ third game, he came a triple short of a cycle, which is when a player hits a single, double, triple, and a home run in one game.

With this series sweep, the Eagles move their record to 15-9 on the through conference play.  They have a 23-23 season record after losing on the road against the Florida Atlantic University Owls on May 7. 

The Eagles exit the weekend tied for the ASUN Conference series lead with the 15-9 Austin Peay State University Governors. FGCU returns to Swanson Stadium on May 10-12 for their last home conference series against the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels.

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About the Contributor
Jeffrey Hrunka
Jeffrey Hrunka, Eagle News Assistant Sports Editor
Jeffrey Hrunka is a junior double majoring in communications and journalism with a concentration in public relations. Jeffrey is from Fort Myers where his interest in sports journalism originated after falling in love with the world of motorsports. When he’s not working for Eagle News, he is usually spending time with friends, watching the New York Giants lose, or chilling in the pool.

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