FGCU baseball can’t hold on to beat Minnesota

Author: FGCU Athletics
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. (FGCU Athletics) – The FGCU baseball team (5-6-1) took a 4-0 lead in the first but was unable to tack on any more runs as Minnesota (2-7) was able to chip away and eventually come away with a 5-4 win at Swanson Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles will return for the series finale with Minnesota tomorrow with a Noon start scheduled.

Josh Dye (Deland, Fla./Deland HS) made his second start of the season on Saturday and was pretty good through the first two innings but struggled mightily in the third, giving up four-consecutive hits and two runs with one out before being replaced by Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS). The sophomore would strikeout a career-best eight batters over 5.2 innings of work, giving him a team-best 26, but he would allow seven hits and three runs to earn his first loss of the season.

Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) was the lone Eagle to collect multiple hits in the game, going 2-5 with a double while it was Adam Eggnatz (Tampa, Fla./Middle Georgia College) who drove in the only runs of the afternoon when he lifted a bases-loaded single to left in the bottom of the first that would clear the bases. Three other Eagles would pick up a hit to account for the team total of six.

“We can’t rely on one big inning against good teams,” head coach Dave Tollett said. “We did everything we were supposed to do in the first; we put runners on with two outs and found a way to drive them all in but that can’t be enough for us. We have another chance to play tomorrow.”

Dye would surrender a leadoff single to start the game but he bounced back with a strikeout and retired the next two batters to work a relatively clean first. With two outs in the bottom half Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) and Colton Bottomley (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) put together back-to-back singles. Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) later walked after a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. With the bases loaded, Eggnatz came to the plate and lifted a single to left and the rolling ball found its way under the glove of the Minnesota leftfielder allowing Selesky to score all the way from first and letting Eggnatz slide safely in to third. Matt Reardon (Palm City, Fla./Martin County) then came to the plate and actually struck out but the third strike escaped the grasp of the Gopher catcher allowing Reardon to reach first safely and bring in Eggnatz for the fourth and final run of the frame.

Dye sat down the Gophers in order in the second then picked up a fly-out to start the third before giving up four-consecutive singles that led to two runs. Koerner took over at that point and struck out the only two batters he faced in the inning to halt the rally.

The sophomore gave up a leadoff single in the top of the fifth then served up a two-run homerun to left to tie the game 4-4. He would work out the fifth and toss an uneventful sixth before heading to the seventh. With one out, Matt Fiedler tripled to deep center then it was Michael Handel singling to left to drive in the go-ahead run for Minnesota. Koerner would strike out the next batter and induce a groundout to end any further threat.

The Eagles would get a runner on third in the bottom of the seventh but that would be as close as they would come to scoring the rest of the way as Minnesota was able to hang on for the 5-4 victory. FGCU would strand six runners on Saturday afternoon and run its total for the weekend up to 17 runners left on base.

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