Eagles sweep Eastern Michigan after another walk-off hit
After a third walk-off hit in four games, the Eagles move to 4-0 with a sweep of Eastern Michigan, 8-7.
With the game tied again in the ninth inning, Spencer Levine ended it with a walk-off, joining teammates Alex Brait and Gage Morey with walk-off hits this season. This is just the second time FGCU has ever started 4-0 in division.
“It feels great. I’m heading right now to play the lottery. I’m going to the first store I get, and playing the lottery,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “It’s Swanson magic. Special things happen here. In my coaching career, I don’t think we’ve had three walk-off wins in a series. Our bottom of the order kept us alive.”
Tyler Shuck was given the ball for game four of the series, but had a high pitch count due to six walks in 2.1 innings. Christian Townsend and Trey Vickery helped him get out of the third, and Evan Lumbert pitched six innings in relief to earn his first win as an Eagle.
After three walks through the first four batters, Eastern Michigan capitalized for two runs in the first, but the Eagles responded with two of their own: first from the red-hot Alex Brait, who singled home Marc Coffers and Richie Garcia, who would single home a run as well to tie the game at two.
That would not last long, as Eastern Michigan tallied one in the second and one in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.
FGCU was able to tie the game up not too long after, as Marc Coffers drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, and finally Gage Morey drove in the tying run with an RBI single a few innings later.
Eastern Michigan regained the lead in the seventh after a pair of errors on pick off attempts before they were able to score their fifth run to make it 5-4. They tacked on another in the eighth, but Kohl Gilmore gave FGCU the lead for a brief moment with a long three run home run to dead center field to give FGCU a 7-6 lead.
However, Eastern Michigan tied the game up in the ninth off Lumbert, resulting in a huge double play to force the bottom of the ninth.
Richie Garcia led off the inning a lot like Jake Smith did yesterday in the ninth by getting hit by a pitch. He would end up at thirds thanks to an error on a pickoff attempt and a wild pitch, while Levine was red to bunt and would eventually come around to score on Levine’s hit.
“I went up there knowing I was going top sac-bunt,” Levine said. “He throws away the first one, and I’m like all right, I’m still going to sac bunt. Just trying to get my job done. Then the wild pitch comes and I’m thinking he’s been wild, so I am probably going to walk, but then [Brandon] Romand gives me the swing sign and I’m like ‘if I get the pitch, I’m going to swing’, and that’s what happened.”
The Eagles will have a day off on Monday before they prepare for a series versus ETSU starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.