3/6/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 203
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After plating three runs over the opening three innings, the No. 23 FGCU baseball team added four more in the eighth, en route to a 7-0 shutout of Bowling Green on Wednesday evening at Swanson Stadium.
Marking the fifth shutout of the season for the Eagles, their record improved to 10-3 this season as they level the all-time series with the Falcons at 1-1. Meanwhile, BGSU’s record dropped to 2-7 on the year.
“I was impressed with our pitching staff as a whole tonight,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “Clint (Knoblauch) and Danny (Patrick) gave us exactly what we needed through the first seven innings, and R.J. (Brown) and Jack (English) also provided two solid frames to close out the game. Playing six games in six days can be a challenge on arms for any club, so it was great to see them pitch effectively for us tonight.”
In his second career start, redshirt freshman right-hander Clint Knoblauch (Wellington, Fla./Wellington HS) opened the game with five innings of three-hit shutout baseball, earning his first collegiate victory. The Wellington, Fla. product finished the outing with four strikeouts and one walk, while lowering his ERA on the season to 2.61. It marks back-to-back noteworthy performances for the first-year arm, who held Manhattan (Mar. 2) without a hit through the first 4.2 frames in his collegiate debut last weekend.
The Eagles plated three runs over the opening three innings, scoring one in the first and two in the third. Junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) opened the first with a single to third and moved to second on a bunt single from senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary). Bednar later gave the Green and Blue a 1-0 lead, coming in to score on a single through the right side from junior Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS).
Then in the third, FGCU found runners on second and third with two away following another single from Reeves and a walk to Dwyer. An errant throw on a routine grounder to third off the bat of senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) allowed Reeves and Dwyer to score for the 3-0 advantage.
FGCU extended its lead in the bottom of the eighth as it poured in four more runs. Dwyer opened the inning with a single to the shortstop, and Beisner reached on an infield error by the shortstop in the next at-bat. After a sacrifice bunt from freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) moved the runners over, a single to third base from sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) moved Dwyer across the dish. Following a BGSU pitching change, a wild pitch moved Suchy and Beisner to second and third, respectively, before another wild pitch in the inning allowed Beisner to touch the plate for a 5-0 lead.
Later in the inning with the bases loaded courtesy of a walk to freshman Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) and a hit-by-pitch to redshirt sophomore Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./Ferguson HS), Bednar made it a 7-0 ballgame with a two-RBI single into right field.
Redshirt junior righty Danny Patrick (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Pepperdine/Palm Beach State) entered in relief of Knoblauch in the sixth, and went two full innings while allowing no runs on just one hit while recording a pair of strikeouts. Senior lefty R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) pitched in the eighth for the Eagles, recording one strikeout. Striking out the side in the ninth, sophomore right-hander Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) finished off the final scoreless frame for the Green and Blue.
The Eagles recorded seven runs on nine hits and four BGSU errors. Dwyer finished the game going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Bednar hit 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Reeves also recorded a 2-for-4 game that included a run scored.
BGSU scored no runs on four hits and one FGCU error. Starting the game for the Falcons, right-hander Trevor Blaylock dropped to 0-3 this season after allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks while recording six strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
FGCU returns to Swanson Stadium this weekend as it plays host to Western Michigan (3-10) in a three-game series. The Eagles and Broncos are set for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch on Friday, followed by a 2 p.m. start Saturday and 1 p.m. opener on Sunday.
A full preview of the upcoming weekend series will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com on Thursday.