FORT MYERS In the final non-conference contest of the 2013 regular season, the FGCU baseball team closed this year's home-and-home series against Big East foe USF with a 6-4 loss on Tuesday evening at Swanson Stadium.
The Eagles record went to 34-18 on the season in the losing effort, while the Bulls' mark now sits at 33-19. The victory also halts a five-game skid for the Bulls in the all-time series, as the Eagles now have a 6-2 edge in meetings between the schools.
Four walks in the top of the first allowed the Bulls to get their first run on the board and an infield single to first base allowed the lead to move to 2-0 in the frame. The advantage increased to 3-0 in the second inning when Kyle Teaf singled to centerfield and stole second, before another single up the middle from James Ramsay moved the base runner across the dish.
Three runs in the sixth inning helped the Eagles knot the game. Redshirt sophomore Alex Diaz opened the frame with a perfect bunt single down the third base line and moved to third on a well-executed hit and run off the bat of senior Mike Reeves in the hole at short. Sophomore Michael Suchy brought the first run across the dish for the Eagles, sending a single through the right side to score Diaz. With Reeves and Suchy still on base, junior Brandon Bednar put down another bunt single to the pitcher, but an overthrow on the play to first allowed Reeves to score and position runners on the corners. Junior Sean Dwyer provided the final tally in the inning with a sacrifice fly ball to centerfield as Suchy trotted in from third base.
The Bulls pulled ahead again in the top of the seventh as two runners moved around the bags. A single and double to begin the inning were followed by a line drive sacrifice fly to center field, and a two-out double later in the inning allowed USF to claim a 5-3 score.
Holding runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, a fielder's choice groundout to second base helped the Bulls up their lead to 6-3.
FGCU threatened in its last chance at the plate, loading the bases on four straight walks to begin the inning. The Eagles moved one across the plate on a sacrifice fly to right field from sophomore Zack Tillery, but that proved to be the only scoring in the inning as the Bulls induced a swinging strikeout and a fly ball to centerfield to wrap up the 6-4 game.
The Eagles scored four runs on eight hits and one USF error. Recording his 200th career hit on the double in the first inning, Bednar led the way for the Eagles going 2-for-4 on the night. Suchy and Reeves each went 1-for-4 in the game with a run scored, while Suchy added a RBI. Dwyer also supplied a walk, one RBI and one run scored in a 1-for-2 night.
In three innings of relief work, junior lefty R.J. Brown (2-2) was pinned with the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and a walk, recording two strikeouts.
USF scored six runs on 11 hits in the game. Senior righty Adrian Puig (4-0) was credited with the win after tossing 0.1 innings.
Currently in a share of second place in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings alongside North Florida, the Eagles will bring a 16-8 league record into the final three-game A-Sun regular season series, as they welcome Stetson (26-26) to Swanson Stadium. The Hatters sit a game back of the Eagles to hold sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings with a 15-9 A-Sun mark. First pitch for the Thursday night opener is scheduled for 6:30 p.m