Bears Come up Short in 4-1 Series Finale Loss at FGCU
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After sweeping a doubleheader yesterday, the Mercer baseball team struggled offensively in a 4-1 loss to Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium.
Mercer (20-13, 4-8 A-Sun) out-hit FGCU (12-20, 5-7 A-Sun) 6-4, but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon to take the loss.
The third game of the series kicked off very similar to the first, with a pitching duel to start between Mercer's David Randall and FGCU's Jason Forjet. Both hurlers matched zeros on the mound through the first six innings of play, allowing just one runner to reach third base from each respective team.
All that would change in the bottom of the seventh, however, thanks to one swing of the bat from Eagles sophomore Andrew Valencia. After Randall was forced to depart after six innings due to a high pitch count (98 pitches), sophomore Brandon Barker came on to start the seventh for the Bears and gave up a lead-off home run to Valenica which put FGCU ahead, 1-0.
The Orange and Black wouldn't give in however, mounting an offensive surge of their own in the top of the eighth to tie things up. After a lead-off single by freshman Chesny Young, junior Evan Boyd delivered a clutch two-out RBI single to right field to level the game at 1-1.
FGCU showed some fight of its own though and answered right back with a huge three-run bottom of the eighth. A suicide squeeze bunt play and a two-RBI single by Valencia put the Eagles ahead to stay, at 4-1.
Randall took the tough luck no decision in the contest, pitching six innings and allowing no runs on just one hit while striking out seven.
Mercer returns to action on Tuesday afternoon with a road mid-week contest at No. 24 Georgia Tech. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.