Sunday February 24, 2013FGCU Downs No. 13 Florida, 7-4, In 11 Innings
Junior Sean Dwyer (4-for-6) belted a three-run homer in the 11th inning to lift Florida Gulf Coast (5-1) to a 7-4 victory over No. 13 Florida (3-5) and a sweep of the teams’ three-game series at McKethan Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Junior right-hander Harrison Cooney (1-1) threw five innings of scoreless relief and registered five strikeouts to pick up the win and the Eagles totaled a season-high 16 hits. Sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (0-1) took the loss and freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) had three hits for the Gators.
After Florida was unable to convert an opportunity in the 10th when it had the bases loaded with none out, junior Brandon Bednar (2-for-6) poked a one-out single into left center field in the 11th and freshman pinch hitter Tyler Selesky earned a free pass on a full count. Moments later, Dwyer sent Shafer’s initial offering over the fence in right field to put the Eagles ahead by three runs. Cooney worked around a one-out single by Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) in the home part of the inning to hand the Gators’ their fourth-straight defeat.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Florida Gulf Coast,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “They earned what they got this weekend and they played outstanding. They swung the bats very well, so I don’t want to take anything away from them. With that being said, we have a lot to work on. We’ve got to get the ball down, we have to execute better on the mound and we’ve got to get better starts – we haven’t had a really good start all year long. We had our opportunities – when you have bases loaded and nobody out, somebody has to hit a fly ball.”
Although FGCU had consecutive two-out singles to begin the game against freshman Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) by Dwyer and redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (3-for-6), the right-hander whiffed sophomore Michael Suchy for his second strikeout of the inning. Hanhold was making his first collegiate start.
The Eagles plated a pair of runs in the second inning on an RBI double by junior Andrew Valencia and a squeeze bunt by redshirt sophomore Alex Diaz to open the scoring. Sophomore Zack Tillery led off with a single up the middle and came around on Valencia’s double into the left-field corner. A single by freshman Colton Bottomley pushed Valencia to third and Diaz laid down a perfect bunt to score Valencia and give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Florida put a pair of runners aboard with two down in the third against freshman Michael Murray, as Bader walked and Martin collected his second hit of the contest. However, Murray had sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) line out to left field to end the inning.
Following a leadoff walk to Valencia in the fourth, sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) replaced Hanhold (3.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 K, 1 BB). Although Diaz and Bednar had back-to-back singles that loaded the bases with one down for FGCU, Magliozzi had both senior Mike Reeves and Dwyer pop up to hold the Gators’ deficit at 2-0.
In the home part of the frame, redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) (2-for-4) doubled to right center with one down and went to third on a grounder by freshman Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.). Matthews had sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) fly out to preserve the 2-0 count.
Martin cut FGCU’s lead in half with a two-out RBI single in the fifth that drove in senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.). Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-5) began the inning by legging out an infield single but was erased at second base on a fielder’s choice by Dent. A throwing error on the play by Diaz enabled Dent to occupy second base. A grounder by Bader advanced Dent and Martin put the Gators on the scoreboard with his third hit of the contest. Murray maintained the Eagles’ advantage by having Turgeon fly out to left field.
The Gators plated three runs on four hits in the sixth to build a 4-2 advantage. Shafer started things off with a single that raised his hitting streak to six games and Powers followed with a base-hit into right field to put the Orange and Blue in business. Stypulkowski sacrificed his teammates over with a bunt and Gushue punched a game-tying single into center field. Redshirt freshman Gabe Rivera replaced Murray (5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER) and an infield single by Ramjit drove in Powers to move UF ahead. Rivera was called for a balk, advancing Gushue and Ramjit, and Dent provided the Gators with a 4-2 lead on an RBI grounder to shortstop.
Beisner knotted the game at 4-4 in the seventh with a two-out, two-run homer to right field. After Magliozzi recorded the first two outs, Dwyer singled through the left side and Beisner sent the next pitch over the right-field wall for his team-leading fourth homer, second of the series. A single by Suchy prompted a call to the bullpen, with freshman Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) replacing Magliozzi (3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R). The righty had Tillery to right field.
Cooney came in for Rivera (0.2 IP) prior to Florida’s seventh at bat and tossed a 1-2-3 inning. Carmichael set down the Eagles in order in the top of the eighth and Cooney did the same to the Gators in the bottom of the stanza.
A one-out single by Reeves in the ninth brought junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) in for Carmichael (1.2 IP, 1 H) and Dwyer greeted the lefty with a single into center field for two runners aboard. Shafer came in from right field and caught Beisner looking on strikes for the second out and had Suchy ground out to keep the contest deadlocked.
In the bottom of the inning, Dent drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position with his first theft of the season. Cooney countered with strikeouts of Bader and Martin to give the fans free baseball at McKethan Stadium for the second time this week.
After Shafer notched three-straight outs in the 10th, Turgeon roped a leadoff single into left field and advanced to third base on a failed pickoff attempt by Cooney. The Eagles walked Shafer and Powers intentionally to load the bases and the move paid off when Cooney had Stypulkowski fly out to right field, a grounder by freshman pinch hitter Christian Dicks (Jacksonville, Fla.) force Turgeon at home and then a fly out by Ramjit send the game to the 11th.
The Gators are back in action on Tuesday, when North Florida (5-2) visits for a 7 p.m. matchup. The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.
· This series marked the first sweep at home for Florida since losing three-straight games to Miami (FL) in 2009.
· The Gators fell to 0-2 in extra innings this season.
· Freshman Richie Martin extended his hitting streak to six games with a first-inning single.
· Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers had his second double of the year in the fourth inning.
· Freshman Kevin Stypulkowski threw out an FGCU runner attempting to steal second base in the fifth.
· Freshman right-hander Eric Hanhold made his first collegiate start for the Gators, matching his career-high two strikeouts in the first inning alone, totaling a career-high three on the afternoon.
· Hanhold threw a career-high 3.0 innings.
· Martin notched his first career RBI, scoring Cody Dent from third on a single to left field.
· Martin recorded his third theft of the year, stealing second in the fifth inning.
· Sophomore reliever Johnny Magliozzi threw a season-high 3.2 innings.
· Sophomore Justin Shafer boosted his hitting streak to six games with a single to left field in the sixth inning.
· Stypulkowski delivered his first sacrifice bunt as a Gator to advance Shafer and Powers into scoring position.
· The Gators have scored in the sixth inning in seven of the eight games played so far in 2013.
· Freshman Jay Carmichael threw a career-high 1.2 innings.
· Dent swiped his first base of the season.
· Shafer has been intentionally walked three times this season, all of which have been in extra innings.