ATLANTA, Ga. - The third weekend of ASUN Conference Baseball league action got underway with some nail-biting finishes on Friday night with three games decided in the eighth inning or later. FGCU, North Florida and Stetson each took home victories thanks to late runs while Liberty took a matchup with fellow conference newcomer North Alabama.
ASUN Baseball Results - Friday, April 5th
FGCU 5, Lipscomb 3
Liberty 16, North Alabama 2
North Florida 3, Jacksonville 2
Stetson 4, NJIT 3
UNC Wilmington 5, Kennesaw State 2
Stetson fought back from 1-0 and 3-2 deficits at home to open home action in ASUN play with a 4-3 victory vs. NJIT. The Hatters were led by senior Jorge Arenas who drove in a pair of runs on the night, the first on a solo shot to give Stetson a 2-1 lead and then later on a single to tie the game at three apiece. Kyle Ball's third hit of the night proved to be the difference, sending home the fourth Stetson run to give the team all they needed to get the home victory. NJIT was powered by a pair of homers in the game, a solo shot from David Marcano and then a two-run dinger from Matt Cocciadiferro. The two sides continue a three-game set with a Saturday night tilt on ESPN+.
The River City Rumble got off to a great start with North Florida claiming a 3-2 pitcher's duel with a late-game comeback W against arch-rival Jacksonville. A one-run game throughout, both Tyler Santana of Jacksonville and Brad Deppermann of North Florida held the opposition to two runs on the night, shutting down many chances throughout the evening. After taking a 2-1 lead in the seventh, Jacksonville saw that quickly dissolve as UNF scored once each in the seventh and eighth to grab the win, taking the lead on an error by the JU first baseman to allow Tanner Murphy to cross home plate. The two crosstown rivals resume play with a Saturday afternoon first pitch set for 2 PM ET on ESPN+.
In a game in which seven of the eight runs were scored off of home runs, FGCU took a 5-3 victory vs. Lipscomb to even its ASUN record to 2-2 after having a bye last weekend. The Bisons jumped out front early, thanks to a two-run bomb from Maddux Houghton in the second inning. The visitors clung to that lead until the bottom of the fifth when with two on, FGCU sent up pinch-hitter Eric Gonzalez who promptly uncorked a three-run home run to give the Eagles their first lead. Lipscomb tied the game at 3-3 an inning later, but FGCU would score the final two runs of the game. On the first pitch of his at-bat in the eighth, senior third baseman Jay Hayes sent a deep fly into the night sky to give the Eagles a 5-3 advantage and the eventual win. The two sides return to the diamond on Saturday afternoon for game two of the series.
In a battle of the ASUN newcomers, Liberty came out on top by a score of 16-2 in Florence, Ala. vs. North Alabama. The offense was clicking early, leaving the bases loaded in the first before throwing up seven runs in the second inning to give the Flames an early lead. That lead only grew from that point, adding seven runs over the next three innings to hold a 14-2 advantage after the fifth. Liberty starter Andrew McInvale earned his seventh victory of the season, extending his lead in the ASUN. A pair of homers from Jaylen Guy and Jonathan Embry added the last runs of the night for the visiting side. The two continue a three-game set on Saturday afternoon.
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