Baseball team’s A-Sun run ends following double losses
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 15:06
Despite winning the first two games of the Atlantic Sun tournament, the momentum wasn’t enough for FGCU’s baseball team. They they dropped two in a row, to Belmont and Kennesaw State, respectively, and were eliminated from the A-Sun tournament.
After putting up 12 runs against KSU in the first game of the tournament, the Owls gave FGCU some payback. They put up four runs in the first inning and didn’t look back, scoring runs in every inning but two.
“We had a rough first inning,” said FGCU head coach Dave Tollett. “They put up a four spot in the first. Then they tacked on two, then two more. It’s just tough to come back from that. We ran out of arms as well.”
FGCU went with sophomore Brandon Bixler, who finished with 3.1 innings pitched, gave up seven walks and struck out six.
“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 have played two, and we didn’t really have any other options.”
That loss knocked FGCU out and sent KSU to the championship game where they eventually lost to Belmont.
Senior CF Ryan Gebhart, senior pitcher Jason Forjet, sophomore shortstop Brandon Bednar and sophomore Sean Dwyer were the four players who were voted onto the all-tournament team. With those four, FGCU had the most of any school at the tournament.
Bednar led the A-Sun Tournament with a .600 batting average, going 9-for-15. He also delivered a hit and RBI in each of the four games, accumulating a program A-Sun Tournament record of six RBI over the four days.
“The ball looked like a beach ball,” Bednar said. “It felt good, I felt good up there. I just came short for my team.”
Coming into the A-Sun tournament, FGCU was the hottest team in the league.
They swept Stetson in the last regular season series to make it into the A-Sun tourney. Those wins propelled FGCU into the four seed and with momentum.
“This is just an incredible feeling and I’m so proud of the guys for the heart they showed over the last three days,” Tollett said. “We entered the weekend knowing we had to take two, probably three games to have at least a chance to make the postseason, and these guys never showed signs of nervousness. We are playing some of our best ball of the season right now and there’s no better time to do it.”
All looks good for the future of FGCU baseball. They graduate just three seniors from this year’s team and had 17 freshmen.
“We’re excited about where we are and that we got here, but we know what we need for next year,” Tollett said.