#24 Florida Gulf Coast
(19-8, 5-3 A-Sun)
(18-14, 7-4 A-Sun)
4/6/2013 | Kennesaw, Ga. | Attendance: 361
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KENNESAW, Ga. – After dropping the first game of the series, 6-1, Friday night, the No. 24 FGCU Baseball team evened the series with a 5-3 victory over Kennesaw State, Saturday afternoon at Stillwell Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.
The Eagles improve to 19-8 on the year and 5-3 in Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun) action while the Owls drop to 18-14 and 7-4 in A-Sun play.
The Green and Blue jumped out in front with a run in the top half of the fourth. Freshman Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) led off the inning with a double down the left field line past a diving third basemen to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Sophomore Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) wouldn’t leave him stranded, delivering a RBI single into right center to plate Rivera and take a 1-0 lead.
Kennesaw State wouldn’t let the lead hold for long as they would score a run in the bottom half of the fifth. Jacob Bruce got on with a double to right center with one out. Alex Liquori followed with an infield hit to second base, moving Bruce to third. Bruce would come into score on the next at-bat with a sacrifice fly-out by Brennan Morgan to centerfield, tying the game at 1-1.
FGCU would take the lead right back, scoring one run in the top of the sixth. Redshirt sophomore Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./Ferguson HS) started the inning with a single up the middle with one out. Diaz would then steal second base to move into scoring position and later move to third on a hit by freshman Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS). Senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) would plate Diaz with a suicide squeeze back to the pitcher, giving the Eagles a 2-1 advantage.
The Green and Blue would add on more in their half of the eighth inning. Reeves would draw a walk with one out in the inning followed by a double down the right field line by junior Sean Dwyer (Taveras, Fla./Taveras HS). With runners on second and third, junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South fork HS) delivered a RBI single through the left side to plate Reeves. With two outs, the Eagles would get another two additional runs on a fielding error by the third basemen and a RBI single by Tillery to give FGCU a 5-1 lead.
Kennesaw State would get one back in the home half of the eighth with a lead-off homer to right center by Andy Almonte to cut the lead to 5-2.
The Owls would score one in the ninth before ending the game with a runner on first base and the tying run at the plate.
Freshman Michael Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forest Hill HS) got the nod for the Eagles in game two and allowed one run on seven hits in 6.2 innings of work for his fourth win this season (4-1). Senior Danny Patrick (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Pepperdine/Palm Beach State) would come on for FGCU with two outs in the seventh and record the final out of that inning. Patrick would go the final 2.1 innings, giving up two runs, on three hits, to record his second save this year.
Right hander Travis Dean was saddled with the loss for Kennesaw (3-5). Dean allowed two runs, on seven hits and fanned two batters in 6.2 innings pitched. Justin McGalvin relieved Dean in the seventh and pitch one full inning, giving up three runs on as many hits. Colton Cross would come in for Kennesaw after Dean and pitch the final 1.1 innings.
The offense was led by Tillery, who went 3-for-4 with a team-high two RBI. Selesky and Dwyer also collected two hits apiece in the win. Diaz reached base four times with a hit and three hit-by-pitches. Nick Rivera and Selesky also tallied hits in the 5-3 win.
The Eagles will look to take the season series tomorrow in the rubber match of the three-game series at Stillwell Stadium at 1 p.m.
Fans can get updates and information on FGCU baseball all season long by visiting www.FGCUATHLETICS.com or by following the team on twitter @FGCU_Baseball.