Baseball

Sands goes 4-for-5 as Baseball slips to FGCU 10-7

Tampa, Fla. – #2 Florida Gulf Coast (41-15) earned the right to face #1 Tampa after recording its second victory in the NCAA South Regional. The 10-7 win over #3 Catawba (45-13) advances the Eagles to an 11 pm Saturday matchup with the host while the Indians will now meet Lynn at 3 pm in a game where the loser is sent home.

Both teams came out swinging to begin the game, scoring a combined eight runs in the first two innings. Catawba took a quick 1-0 lead on a two-base error by the pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt. Florida Gulf Coast quickly erased the deficit with a two-run homer by Jason Lousma. After the Indians added a run in the top of the second, the Eagles scored four in their half of the inning to take a 6-2 lead. Catawba chipped away at the Florida Gulf Coast lead by scoring two in the third and one in the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-5. The Eagles fought back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth on five hits and a two-run single by Casey Coleman.

Catawba added another run in the top of the sixth as Nick Lefko had a lead-off double and scored on a Ryan Query base hit. Florida Gulf Coast then stretched the lead to 10-6 with a run in the seventh inning. Catawba added a run in the ninth and brought the tying-run to the plate but failed to capitalize. Ryan Williams started for Florida Gulf Coast and went 5 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs while striking out six and walking two. Williams received the victory while Catawba starter Matt Smith lasted just 1 1/3 innings after surrendering six earned runs and five hits. Smith struck out one and walked three.

Jerry Sands went 4-for-5, including a two-run homer in the third. Lefko, Query and David Thomas each had a pair of hits and a RBI. Matt Seabolt tossed three and a third innings of relief allowing just one run on three with three strikeouts while Brian Benton threw an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief allowing with hit and registered one strikeout.

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