3/4/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 803
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind five RBI from junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) and six innings of one-hit baseball from sophomore right-hander Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS), the No. 23 FGCU baseball team took down visiting Michigan, 11-6, on Monday evening at Swanson Stadium.
With the win, the Eagles’ record moved to 9-3, while the Wolverines dropped to 5-6 this season. The victory also marked the third straight for FGCU over Michigan, as the Green and Blue now lead the all-time series 3-1. Additionally, the victory moved the Eagles record to 6-1 against BCS schools this season.
“This was a great team win for us this evening,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “Tillery kept them off base pretty well through the first six innings and we got offensive support from one through nine in the lineup. These are the type of wins that are good team builders and can mean a lot as we get closer and closer to conference play.”
In just his third start of the season, Tillery improved to 1-1 on the year after allowing just the one hit in his six frames on the mound, recording a trio of strikeouts. The Naples, Fla. product lowered his ERA to 3.07, and now has seven strikeouts with a .259 opponent batting average in 14.2 innings of work.
The Green and Blue got on the board first in the bottom half of the third with four runs, after senior Dane Wisneski (Jupiter, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens HS/Daytona State) led the inning off with a single through the left side and advanced to second on an overthrow by the left fielder. Sophomore Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./Ferguson HS) reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt after the pitcher bobbled the transfer on the play, as Wisneski moved to third. Bednar drove in Wisneski from third on a sacrifice bunt down the first base line for the 1-0 lead. Senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) kept the rally going with one out with a single to right field which moved Diaz to third, before junior Sean Dwyer (Tavaras, Fla./Tavares HS) walked to load the bases. Redshirt-senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) drove in the second run in the frame on a sacrifice fly-out to right, and sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) tallied the final two runs of the inning with a one-out single to left field for the 4-0 advantage.
The Eagles’ lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth, when Wisneski started the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Bednar wasted no time driving in Wisneski with an RBI single through the left side on the first pitch he saw.
Three more runs came across for the Green and Blue in the home side of the fifth. Beisner opened the inning with a single to center field before walks to freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) and junior Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) loaded the bases with one out. Later in the frame with two away, Diaz brought in Rivera from third on a RBI Walk. Bednar tacked on a pair of runs on a single up the middle that plated Wisneski, who reached on a fielder’s choice, and Valencia for the 8-0 lead.
Michigan cut the FGCU lead to 8-2 in the seventh, finding the bases loaded on a hit-by-pitch and a pair of walks. A sacrifice fly to center field plated one run while moving another runner to third, and the second run of the inning came in on a wild pitch.
FGCU established a nine-run lead in the bottom half of the seventh, starting with a leadoff double into the right field corner from Wisneski. Following a sac bunt from Diaz to move Wisneski to third, Bednar connected on a single through the left side to record his fifth RBI of the game. In the next at-bat, Reeves made it a 10-2 game with a double down the right field line that moved Bednar across the dish, and later came across to score as well on a Dwyer single through the left side for the 11-2 edge.
Michigan pieced together five hits in the eighth, as four runners moved around the base paths to narrow the FGCU lead to 11-6.
Providing a scoreless ninth, junior right-hander Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) surrendered just one hit while helping the Eagles finish off the victory.
FGCU scored 11 runs on 14 hits and two Michigan errors. Driving in five of the Eagles’ 11 runs, Bednar led the way at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a run scored. Reeves provided a 2-for-5 game which included a pair of runs scored and one RBI, while Beisner added a 3-for-4 game with an RBI. In his first start of the season, Wisneski reached base to begin three of the four FGCU scoring innings, recording a 2-for-4 game that included four runs scored.
Michigan lefty starter Logan McAnallen (1-1) was issued the loss after going the first three innings and allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks, recording a pair of strikeouts. The Wolverines plated their six runs on seven hits and one FGCU error.
The Eagles return to Swanson Stadium for the sixth game of the 11-game homestand on Wednesday evening when the take the field with Bowling Green. The Eagles have yet to name a starter for the 6:30 p.m. first pitch.
Tickets for all home contest are available online at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com/tickets or by calling the FGCU ticket office at 239-590-7145.