The Florida Gulf Coast baseball team sweeps a weekend series against the Florida Gators after an extra inning 7-4 win on Sunday. This is the first time the Gators have been swept in a home series by a non-conference opponent since Miami in 2009. The Gators are now 3-5 on the season after dropping games Friday (8-2) and Saturday (8-3) and have now lost four games in a row.
Gator freshman Eric Hanhold started on the mound Sunday. FGCU took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when sophomore Zack Tillery opened with a single, and he soon scored on junior Andrew Valencia’s double in the next at bat. Valencia would score later on a squeeze play.
The Gators scored for the first time in the fifth when senior Cody Dent reached on a fielder’s choice and an error, moving him to second base. He scored on a two out hit by shortstop Richie Martin, his third hit of the day.
In the sixth, Taylor Gushue and Vickash Ramjit got RBI hits and Dent got an RBI groundout to give Florida a 4-2 lead but it would not hold up. The Eagles quickly tied the game at 4-4 as senior Brooks Beisner hit a two out, two-run homer. After no teams scored in regulation, the game went into extra innings.
Florida blew an opportunity to win the game in the 10th. Casey Turgeon singled and raced to third on an errant pickoff throw. Pitcher Harrison Cooney then intentionally walked Justin Shafer and Zack Powers to set up a force play. With the infield in, Kevin Stypulkowski hit a short fly to center and the runners had to hold. Pinch-hitter Christian Dicks grounded to first with a runner being thrown out at home and Ramjit lined out to center as the Gators failed to score.
The failure to score came back to haunt Florida in the 11th inning. FGCU’s Sean Dwyer hit a long three-run home run to give the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish.
Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan said the Eagles deserved the win.
O’Sullivan added that his team could have pulled a win if the team focused and played smart when the play was to their advantage.
Freshman Richie Martin had three hits for the Gators on Sunday and said he knows there’s plenty of time to turn things around.
The Gators play Tuesday at home against the University of North Florida. You can hear the game live on ESPN Radio 850 at 6:55 p.m.