April 10, 2012
Fort Myers, FL - The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team pushed across a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to squeeze past Florida Atlantic University 6-5 on Tuesday night at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers. The Owls rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth before the Eagles hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the frame to pick up the victory.
FAU, ranked 28th in this week's Collegiate Baseball poll, came back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by junior first baseman Mark Nelson. Junior catcher Mike Spano drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning to begin the late-inning rally.
FGCU (13-20) would take a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning when Zack Tillery's on a sacrifice fly scored Mike Reeves.
However, the Owls battled back again in the top of the ninth inning. With two outs, Nelson singled to left-center field to put junior outfield Corey Keller at third base. A wild pitch allowed for Keller to score the tying run.
But the host Eagles would come up with a rally of their own. They started the ninth inning with Ryan Gebhart's infield single. A sacrifice bunt moved Gebhart into scoring position. Then, Brandon Bednar's single up the middle to score Gebhart for the 6-5 victory.
FAU took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by freshman infielder Ricky Santiago to score junior third baseman Kyle Newton. Newton would later connect on his fifth home of the season in the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2.
Newton paced the Owls' seven-hit offensive attack, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Spano had recorded two hits in the game.
FGCU's Gebhart tallied three hits and scored two runs and drove in two runs. Sean Dwyer also had two hits for the Eagles.
FAU returns to the diamond on Friday, April 13, at 7 p.m. when it begins a three-game Sun Belt Conference series at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The team currently leads the league with a 10-2 record. Live audio and statistics of the game can be found at www.fausports.com. For tickets contact the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.