A-Sun loss ends season for Eagles baseball
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2012
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2012 11:05
FGCU (26-31) fell to Kennesaw State (34-24) 13-4 on Saturday in the Atlantic Sun tournament. This loss ends the Eagles’ season after starting out 2-0 in the A-Sun tournament.
“We had a rough first inning,” said FGCU head coach Dave Tollett. “They put up a four spot in the first. We got back, which is always good. Then they tacked on two, then two more its just tough to come back from that. We ran out of arms as well. We’re excited about where we are and that we got here, but we know what we need for next year.”
KSU got off to a hot start thanks to senior Andy Chriscaden, who delivered a grand-slam in the first off of sophomore Brandon Bixler. Chriscaden also drove in two runs with a triple in the firth. He finished the game going 2-4 with seven runs batted in. His seven RBI’s tied a A-Sun championship record.
Bixler settled down in the second, striking out the side.
“Bixler is Bixler,” Tollett said. “He’s electric. He’s either going to turn out the lights or burn down the house. He’s been like that all year. He went longer than I’d like cause if we won we were in a situation where we would have to of played two and we didn't really have any other options.”
Then in the third, Bixler allowed only one hit but due to two walks that single turned into a run for KSU. That pushed the score to 5-0 Owls.
The only silver lining for the Eagles came in the fourth when sophomore Brandon Bednar recorded his ninth hit and his sixth RBI.
“The ball looked like a beach ball,” Bednar said. “It felt good, I felt good up there. I just came short.”
That's all FGCU would earn off of sophomore Travis Dean, who threw a gem. He allowed only one run to shut down the FGCU offense. He pitched eight innings and only gave up 6 hits and two walks.
“My hats off to him,” Tollett said. “I don't think it was him though, I thought it was us.”
It helped that his offense scored the most runs since April 13, when they scored 17 against Stetson. They scored 13 runs off of 11 hits. It helped that FGCU pitching gave up nine walks and had three errors.
In the first three games of the A-Sun tournament, in which FGCU went 2-1, FGCU allowed ten walks combined. Saturday, they allowed nine. They also committed two errors in the first three games. Saturday, they committed three.
“Anytime you’re giving up base runners, it’s crucial,” Tollett said. “If you don't make the plays and you give up free walks, you’re not going to win.”
With the win, KSU will face Belmont in the A-Sun championship for an automatic birth into the NCAA tournament.