FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team (6-2) earned a 8-0 shutout victory over Siena (2-5) in the first of a four-game non-conference series Thursday night at Swanson Stadium.
Senior pitcher Evan Lumbert (1-1) (Orlando, FL/Boone HS/South Florida State) dictated the first six innings of the game from the mound. The right-hander gave up just two hits through six innings en route to earning his first win of the season. Junior Sebastian Gruszecki (Dudley, MA/Shepherd Hill Regional HS) made a clean, two-inning relief appearance before juniorKeegan Collett (Dallas, TX/Trinity Christian School/Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa) came in to close. Collett fanned three to end the game.
"This was a really, really good night," FGCU coach Dave Tollett said. "Gonzalez, Stevens, Hayes and Kinker all finished with multiple hits. Having multiple guys who can be a threat in our lineup puts us in a good position going forward. If you look at our season so far, we have great offensive production from a different set of guys each night. From a pitching standpoint, a shutout is always good. Lumbert did a great job making it through six innings and I was happy with how the bullpen came in. They were huge."
The Green and Blue finished with 15 hits from nine different players. The Saints finished the game with two total, both of which came in the first three innings of the game. Seniors Eric Gonzalez (Miami, FL/American HS/ASA College) and Jay Hayes (Altamonte Springs, FL/Lyman HS) led the charge, finishing with three hits apiece. Gonzalez totaled one homerun, a double and a single, while Hayes finished with a pair of doubles and a single.
Junior Richie Garcia (Davie, FL/West Broward HS) was first to get on the board for the Eagles, scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second. Later in the inning, Hayes singled to center field to drive in Gonzalez. The Eagles tacked on their third run of the game when freshman Joe Kinker(Northport, FL/Venice HS) doubled to left field, bringing in junior Marc Coffers (Naples, FL/Barron Collier HS).
After a Gonzalez homer in the sixth, the Eagles further distanced themselves from the Saints in the seventh. Senior Keith Stevens (Miami, FL/Miami Killian HS/Hillsborough CC) added a homerun of his own over the wall in left field. Freshman Jalen Townsend (Oviedo, FL/Winter Park HS) scored on a Gonzalez double after coming into the game to pinch hit and Gonzalez scored on another Hayes double.
Siena's starting pitcher Ben Seiler was tagged with the loss after conceding three runs on seven hits in his five innings on the mound. He struck out four and walked two. Nate Toms came in and gave up one run in his inning of relief before turning things over to Tim Zehnbauer who let up four runs on five hits. John Nolan came in to face the final four Eagle batters, allowing just one hit.
The two hits from the Saints came from Alex Milone and Brian Kelly. Milone got himself into scoring position in the second but was left stranded.
Tonight marks the Eagles' fourth consecutive game with double-digit hits and sixth through their eight games so far.
The teams will return to Swanson Stadium tomorrow for another game at 6:30 p.m. under the lights. The Saints struggled offensively tonight, but scored 15 runs in three games in their most recent series against the reigning ASUN champion Stetson.
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FGCU coach Dave Tollett currently owns a 571-339-3 record. He is the only head coach in the program's history and led the program to its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2017. He is a four-time ASUN Coach of the Year and has guided the Green and Blue to four ASUN Regular Season Championships and one ASUN Tournament Championship. His team has been ranked nationally on several occasions, including as high as No. 9 in the country in 2017, and has coached 54 all-conference selections, 31 draft picks, three current major leaguers, 15 current minor leaguers, four ASUN Pitchers of the Year, four All-Americans, three ASUN Players of the Year, one National Freshman Player of the Year, one National Player of the Year and one seven-time MLB All-Star.
The 2017 season was a magical one for the Green and Blue that ended in the program's first Division I NCAA Championship tournament berth. The Eagles ended the year 43-20, which included a midweek sweep over No. 2 Florida, single wins over No. 1 Florida State, Miami, and a three-game sweep at UNC Wilmington. The wins over Miami, FSU, and UF marked the first time FGCU defeated all three programs in the same season.
Reaching as high as No. 9 in the polls, the highest of any program at FGCU, the Eagles struggled in April but bounced back to finish third in the ASUN. During the ASUN Championship, FGCU won four games in a span of 29 hours for their first tournament crown.
The Green and Blue earned the No. 2 seed in the Chapel Hill Regional, defeating Michigan 10-6 before losses to Davidson and North Carolina ended their season. The tournament title added to FGCU's four regular season crowns.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events throughout the year to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics' charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 73 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 11+ seasons at the Division-I level. Additionally, in just seven+ seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 34 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Seven FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including both men's and women's soccer again in 2018. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best 6th-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors' Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.35 GPA in the classroom in the Spring, 2018 and had an ASUN Conference and State of Florida best five teams earn the NCAA's Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours – being recognized as one of two runner-ups for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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