Fla. Gulf Coast downs No. 2 Florida St.
Four Eagle pitchers hold Seminoles to just three hits, one run
TALLAHASSE, Fla. -- A collective three-hitter by four different pitchers and a fast start at the dish helped Florida Gulf Coast upset No. 2 Florida State 5-1 on Wednesday night at Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium in front of 4,090 fans.
The win is the program’s second against a ranked opponent and finishes off a five-game road swing for FGCU (11-18). The Green and Blue’s other ranked win in the program’s brief five-year Division I history came on May 6, 2009, when it won at No. 9 Florida by a 17-5 margin.
The Eagle’s win at Dick Howser Stadium was just the second this season by the visiting team, dropping FSU to 17-2 on its home field. The Seminoles, who moved up to No. 2 this week in several national polls, now sport an overall record of 24-5.
Led by Harrison Cooney’s four consecutive scoreless innings to start game, the FGCU pitching staff held the potent FSU lineup to one run on just three hits, retiring the Seminoles in order four times. Coming into the night, the Seminoles had won 12 home games in a row against the likes of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Stetson and FIU, and had been held to less than two runs just twice over that span.
Cooney retired 12 of the 16 batters he faced over his four innings of work, getting two runs of support in the first en route to picking up his first win of the season on the mound. The sophomore gave up just one hit and struck out three batters in his second start of the year. Cooney’s biggest punch out during his 56-pitch outing came in the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs to help FGCU keep its 2-0 lead.
FGCU presented Cooney with a two-run lead before he even stepped on the mound, as an RBI double by Sean Dwyer and RBI single by Brandon Bednar in the top of the first quickly made it 2-0 in favor of the Eagles. Both hits came with two outs with Dwyer’s seventh extra-base hit of the season scoring Michael Suchy all the way from first.
Florida State starter Scott Sitz settled down after the two-run first inning by FGCU, retiring the Eagles in order his other five innings of work en route to finishing with nine strikeouts in a tough-luck loss.
The Seminoles finally capitalized off Sitz sitting down 15 consecutive batters in the bottom of the sixth, plating a run on a two-out double off of R.J. Brown to cut their deficit to 2-1. Brown took over for Cooney to start the fifth, going 1.2 innings. Jack English relieved Brown and recorded the final out of the sixth and went on to work a scoreless seventh.
With Sitz out of the game, FGCU found its rhythm at the dish again, using a combination of three hits, a walk, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to score three runs and extend its lead to 5-1.
Patrick returned to the mound in the eighth, but after issuing two straight walks to start the frame was replaced by weekend starter Jason Forjet. Faced with two runners on base and no outs, Forjet induced a pair of fly outs before walking the bases loaded. The senior righty then got the last out of the inning on another fly out.
Forjet returned in the ninth to seal FGCU’s third win over a BCS program this season, retiring the Seminoles in order for his fifth career save and the 5-1 upset.
In a game that pinned the Eagles against an FSU squad that averaged just fewer than 10 hits per game, it was the Green and Blue doing the damage at the dish with a 9-3 edge in the hits column. Suchy, Bednar and Alex Diaz all finished with multi-hit games to highlight the 2-8 hitters in the lineup that went 9-for-28.
Dwyer’s double was the only extra-base hit of the game, while he also scored twice. Zack Tillery supplied an RBI single in the three-run seventh and started at third base.