FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast scored twice in the seventh to tie and twice more in the eighth for a 7-5 comeback victory in Florida Atlantic University’s first road baseball game of the 2017 season on Tuesday night.
The Turning Point
Down a run in the fourth inning, David Miranda singled down the rightfield line to score Austin Langham. Miranda would then advance two bases on an errant pickoff throw and score on a wild pitch to give the Owls (4-2-1) a 4-3 lead. They would later add another run on a two-out RBI single by Pedro Pages in the sixth. But FGCU (7-2) answered in the bottom of the seventh, also with two outs, on an RBI single and an error on an attempted steal to even the game up at 5-5.
The two-out scenario proved beneficial for the Eagles in the eighth as well. In between two strikeouts, Marc Coffers walked and then stole both second and third. With two away, Eli Lovell worked a 10-pitch at-bat into another walk, and he and Coffers both came around to score on Spencer Levine’s double. In the ninth, the sixth FGCU reliever of the night, Sterling Koerner, retired the Owls 1-2-3 for the save.
- Esteban Puerta and Stephen Kerr paced the Owls with two hits each. Puerta had two doubles and a run scored; Kerr had the RBI single to score Puerta and added a double as well
- Miranda knocked in two runs on the night. He also had a sacrifice fly in the second inning to score Sean Labsan, who had doubled to lead off the frame
- Labsan pitched three innings in his first start of the year, striking out six, including the rare four-strikeout inning in the first
- Relievers Nick Prather (in his collegiate debut) and Blake Sanderson followed Labsan with three combined scoreless innings
- All told, Owls’ pitching struck out 15 Eagles. Every batter in the FGCU lineup struck out at least once
- For the sixth time in seven games, FAU had double-digit hits (10 on Tuesday); nine hits is the team’s season low
“We have got to make plays and better pitches down the stretch,” said Head Coach John McCormack. “They capitalized on a few miscues we had in the seventh and eighth innings. Credit to FGCU – we gave them an opening and they took it.”
The Owls return home with a quick turnaround to host Miami on Wednesday night. First pitch is 6:30 p.m., and the starting pitching matchup is Marc Stewart against UM’s Gregory Veliz at FAU Baseball Stadium.