FGCU hands Gators third straight loss
Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.
For the second time in less than 24 hours, 17th-ranked Florida's bullpen was abused by visiting Florida Gulf Coast as UF dropped game two of a three-game series with the Eagles, 8-3, Saturday at McKethan Stadium.
Florida Gulf Coast At Florida, 12:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Florida
The Gators (3-4) scored in their half of the first to take a quick lead, combining a hit, a hit-batsmen and an RBI single by sophomore right fielder Justin Shafer to plate the game's first run.
That was all the scoring by either team until the fifth inning when UF freshman starter Tyler Simpson, who held FGCU scoreless on two hits through the first four innings, gave up a lead-off single to Eagles center fielder Michael Suchy who came around to score one out later on an RBI double by No. 9 hitter Alex Diaz, who came into the game hitting just .083.
Simpson struck out the next batter for the second out of the inning, but gave way at that point to junior left-hander Daniel Gibson who came on to face left-hand hitting FGCU catcher Mike Reeves.
But Reeves delivered a single back through the box, plating Diaz and giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead before Gibson was able to strike out Sean Dwyer to end the inning.
It looked like FGCU (4-1) would give the lead right back when starter Brandon Bixler walked the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the fifth, but the Gators did nothing from there.
Sophomore designated hitter Josh Tobias popped up to first, and with a 1-2 count on No. 9 hitter Cody Dent, UF attempted an unsuccessful double steal with the lead runner being thrown out at third on a low pitch.
Dent went down swinging on the next pitch to end the threat.
FGCU (4-1) wasted no time extending the lead in the top of the sixth to 5-1 on a three-run home run off the bat of Suchy, his first of the year, off UF reliever Ryan Harris.
UF closed to within 5-2 in the bottom of the inning on a bases-loaded, two-out walk to senior Vickash Ramjit, but left the bases loaded when Taylor Gushue followed by flying out to short center.
The Eagles however, did not squander their scoring opportunities for the second straight game, plating two more runs in the seventh on RBI triples by Dwyer and Brandon Bednar to go up 7-2 and adding an insurance run in the ninth to down the Gators.
Florida did add a run of its own in the bottom the ninth on a one-out double by freshman Kevin Stypulkowski and an RBI single by freshman Brady Roberson.
UF will try and salvage the series finale when the Gators take on the Eagles Sunday at 12:30 p.m.