Florida Gulf Coast completes sweep over Gators
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 25, 2013 at 11:28 a.m.
What looked like it would be the end of Florida's three-game losing streak turned out to be the Gators' final act of futility on a forgettable weekend.
With the score 4-4 in the bottom of the 10th inning in the series finale with visiting Florida Gulf Coast, 17th-ranked UF loaded the bases with nobody out and somehow came away empty.
The Eagles made them pay in their next at-bat as left fielder Sean Dwyer stepped to the plate in the top of the 11th with two men on and one out and rocketed a three-run home run, his first of the season, to deep right to complete a three-game sweep with the 7-4 win for FGCU, the first team to sweep the Gators at McKethan Stadium since Miami in 2009 as a crowd of 3,133 looked on Sunday.
“It was a great weekend for us,” FGCU coach Dave Tollett said. “We thought we had a great ball club coming in, and anytime you come to Florida and just win one, you're happy. We just played really well this weekend.”
UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan was clearly disappointed.
“First off, I want to congratulate Florida Gulf Coast,” he said. “They earned what they got this weekend, and they played outstanding. They swung the bats very well.
“We got the bases loaded with nobody out, and the swings got too big. We've got to stay short to the ball and just hit a fly ball, just to give us a chance to score a run. It's as simple as that.”
Sophomore Casey Turgeon led off the Gators' 10th with a single and went to third when FGCU reliever Harrison Cooney, who was otherwise outstanding, threw wildly to first on an attempted pickoff with Justin Shafer at the plate.
Tollett elected to have Shafer and Zack Powers intentionally walked at that point to load the bases, and it could not have worked out any better.
Cooney (1-1), who threw five innings of two-hit, shutout relief to earn the win, retired freshman Kevin Stypulkowski on a short fly to center, freshman Christian Dicks pinch hit for Cory Reid and hit a ground ball that forced Turgeon at home for the second out and then Vickash Ramjit flew out to center field to end the 10th.
UF freshman Eric Hanhold, making his first career start, only made it through three-plus innings before giving way to sophomore Johnny Magliozzi.
FGCU (5-1) freshman starter Michael Murray, meanwhile, cruised through the first four innings, allowing just three hits before the Gators (3-5) got to him in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Martin that cut the FGCU lead to 2-1.
Taylor Gushue's one-out RBI single in the sixth tied the score at 2 and chased Murray. An infield hit by Vickash Ramjit and a ground out by Cody Dent both plated a run later to give the Gators a 4-2 lead, but it was short-lived.
Magliozzi gave up a two-out single to Dwyer in the seventh, and clean-up batter Brooks Beisner, a transfer from Auburn who came into the game hitting .526, blasted the next pitch into the palm trees in right for his fourth homer of the season, tying things at 4-all and setting the stage for extra innings.
Shafer (0-1), the last of five UF pitchers, was saddled with the loss.
Dwyer (4-for-6) paced a season-high, 16-hit attack for FGCU while Martin (3-for-6) led UF.
UNF (5-2) visits UF Tuesday at 7 p.m. before Miami comes to town for a three-game weekend series.
“We've got a lot to work on,” O'Sullivan said. “We've got to get the ball down, we've got to execute better on the mound, we've got to get better starts — we haven't had a really good start all year long. The ball was up in the zone.
“But we had our opportunities.”