FORT MYERS, Fla. – The University of Evansville baseball team rolled into Swanson Stadium winners of four straight, and Florida Gulf Coast University put an end to to the streak as the Purple Aces fell 10-0.
UE (5-6) sent out junior starting pitcher Austin Allinger to face the Eagles (11-2), and quickly fell behind as Mark Coffers stroked a double to lead off the bottom of the first and would eventually score the icebreaker on a fielder’s choice.
Allinger would get in more trouble in the second frame, as Eric Gonzalez tagged him for a 2-run shot, pushing the Florida Gulf Coast lead to 3-0.
Gonzalez would strike again in the bottom of the 4th, driving in another Eagles tally, making it 4-0 FCGU. Florida Gulf Coast would add to the pad later in the inning as an error by sophomore shortstop Craig Shepherd allowed Alex Brait to cross home plate with an unearned run. Richie Garcia would follow that up with a two-run double to the gap in right-center, chasing Allinger from the game. The junior hurler went 3 2/3 innings giving seven runs, four earned, while striking out four.
Hunter Porterfield would come out of the bullpen to try to put out the fire, but the Eagles weren’t finished in the fourth frame. Eli Lovell singled in a pair, pushing the Florida Gulf Coast advantage to 9-0.
“We couldn’t minimize the big inning”, said University of Evansville head coach Wes Carroll. They hung a six-spot on us in the fourth inning, a couple of them unearned runs. Any time you give up a big inning like that versus a quality starter, our offense couldn’t come out of the hole for us.”
The Aces and Eagles will square off again tomorrow back FGCU’s Swanson Stadium, with UE sending out junior southpaw Alex Weigand, while Florida Gulf Coast counters with junior lefty Josh Dye.
“We feel like we have a good idea how to work through their lineup now, going into tomorrow”, said Carroll. “The good thing is they can’t carry over any of those runs, and I know our guys are going to come to the yard expecting to win and compete at a very high level.”
First pitch has been moved up to 11 a.m. Central Time. Sunday’s game has also been moved up to 9:30 a.m. Central Time in anticipation of inclement weather.