Baseball sweeps LIU-Brooklyn in three-game series
By Jake Horwitz
The FGCU baseball team swept the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds in a three-game series this weekend.
Pitcher Nikolas Bitner had an impressive performance on the mound in Friday’s game, where the Eagles won 10-0. Bitner struck out four batters, gave up three hits and did not allow a single run in five and a third innings.
The game got off to a slow start, but this quickly changed when Richie Garcia came up to the plate in the bottom of the second. Garcia hit a towering homerun over the left field wall to start the scoring in this game. The Eagles scored two more runs in this inning. After two complete innings, FGCU took a 3-0 lead into the third inning, which would give them a comfortable lead to keep building off of.
In the bottom of the third, Alex Bait, Keith Stevens, Kohl Gilmore and Garcia would all get hits to extend FGCU’s lead to 7-0. After this inning, we would not see anymore scoring until the the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Eric Gonzalez hit a line drive double past the third baseman of the Blackbirds to score Kohl Gilmore, making the score 8-0.
The Eagles tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth.
The Blackbirds could not produce any offense, as they had only four hits and did not score a run throughout the game.
The Eagles took the first win of the weekend, giving them the lead in the series.
Pitcher Brenden Heiss had a great, but inconsistent performance on the mound in Saturday’s game. Heiss struck out six batters, walked five and only allowed one run in four innings to lead the Eagles to a 10-1 win.
The first hit of the game was a home run by the Blackbirds — the second time a game has begun with a home run in the series. In the top of the second inning, the Blackbirds hit a leadoff home run to left field. This would be the Blackbirds’ only hit until the ninth inning.
In the bottom of the third, Alex Bait would tie the game up with a single through the right side, scoring Marc Coffers. The Eagles continued to score in this inning, as Joe Kinker hit a two out double to left center to score Alex Bait and Kohl Gilmore. After three innings of play, the Eagles led 3-1.
There was no more scoring until the sixth inning of this game, where the Eagles widened its lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles scored four runs on hits by Eric Gonzalez, Marc Coffers, Alex Bait and Kohl Gilmore, handing the Eagles a 7-1 lead.
After the seventh and eighth innings, the Eagles tacked on three more runs to its lead, with Joe Kinker scoring in both innings to secure a win.
The Blackbirds continued to struggle with offense, only getting two hits in this game and six total for the series. In two games, the Eagles outscored the Blackbirds by nineteen.
Pitcher Mason Studstill performed brilliantly in Sunday’s game to close out the series. Studstill pitched six scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out eleven batters.
In the bottom of the second, the Eagles took an early lead after a sacrifice bunt by Christian Proffitt brought Gilmore home. The Eagles led 1-0 after two innings of play.
In the bottom of the third, Gilmore grounded out to second base, but Keith Stevens scored on the play. Later in the inning, Eric Gonzalez hit a shot past the Blackbirds’ shortstop, scoring Joe Kinker and Garcia to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, FGCU tacked on two more runs to their lead. Alex Bait hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Christian Proffitt. Later in that same inning, Garcia hit a single through the left side, scoring Cofferrs.
In the top of the seventh, the Blackbirds scored their first run of the the game with a single up the middle. This was the Blackbirds’ second hit of the game and also their last. After seven innings, the score was 6-1 in favor of FGCU.
In the bottom of the eighth, FGCU scored two more runs.
The Eagles won the game 9-1 and swept the Blackbirds. The Blackbirds had trouble producing offense throughout the series.
The Eagles pitched remarkably throughout the entire series. FGCU pitchers only gave up two runs, eight hits and struck out thirty-one batters.
Next, FGCU will begin a three-game series against Siena at home on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m.