Aces Baseball Gets Swept by FGCU

Aces Baseball Gets Swept by FGCU

The University of Evansville baseball team got off to another slow start at the plate, staged a late inning rally, only to come up short again, as Florida Gulf Coast University swept the Purple Aces for the weekend, 7-3, Sunday afternoon in Fort Myers.

UE had sophomore right hander David Ellis on the mound, who got in and out of trouble across the first two innings. However, the Eagles would tally the icebreaker in the third frame. With runners on the corners, Ellis picked off Gage Morey in a rundown between first and second base, allowing Marc Coffers to race home, making it 1-0 Florida Gulf Coast.

Ellis would come back out for the fourth inning, and the Eagles proceeded to load up the bases on him with no outs, chasing him from the game. Jace Burke came in to put out the fire, but FGCU would cash in. Jake Smith ripped a two run single through the right side of the infield, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Then, Gage Morey lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center, bringing in Alex Brait, putting Evansville in a 4-0 hole. That would close the book on Ellis, who went three innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits, while striking out one, and walking one.

As for the Ace bats, they struggled through the first five frames against Eagles hurler Evan Lumbert, who struck out four, while scattering three hits and one walk, shutting out Evansville.

"We really struggled against the fastball today", said University of Evansville head coach Wes Carroll. " I feel like the starter for them was very similar to Friday night's starter, didn't have off-speed command, just had fastball. Our plan at the plate wasn't executed very well. Our young club's learning how to compete. This is a Valley-type off opponent, so we'll know what to expect come Valley time." 

Lumbert would give way to the bullpen in the sixth inning, and UE would come to life. With sophomore center fielder aboard, freshman Tanner Craig drilled a two strike-two out pitch over the fence in right, cutting the FGCU lead to 4-2.

"His performance today was good", said Carroll. "For him, young guy in my four hole, it's a lot to expect out of the young man. I know he has some hitting savvy, and he's executing and seeing the ball very well."

Then in the eighth, senior right fielder Dalton Horstmeier, with a pair in scoring position, delivered a clutch two out single to left, driving in Kenton Crews to make it 4-3. However, Tanner Craig attempted to come home with the game-tying tally, but got thrown out at home, keeping it a one run game.

"He had a chance with the play at the plate", said Carroll. "Their outfielder made a great throw on him. It was a two outs, two strike read with a chance to tie the ball game."

The Aces bullpen had held Florida Gulf Coast scoreless through three innings. Carroll turned to Jimmy Ward to keep the game close in the bottom of the frame, but a walk and a pair of throwing errors allowed the Eagles to put up three runs, putting the Aces down 7-3.

Evansville attempted one last rally in their final at bat, loading up the bases for Troy Beilsmith. However, the Aces top hitter grounded out to third to end the game. The Aces drop to 5-8 on the season, FGCU is now 13-2.

"We were really close, but close doesn't count", said Carroll. "We didn't finish the comeback because we didn't take care of the baseball in winning time. Against a quality ball club, you can't let lead-off's on base. Over the course of the game, we flirted with lead-off walks, hit-by-pitches and they got us there in the eighth inning because we couldn't take care of the baseball. The big error shows up in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, and that cost us a chance to win today."

The Aces are back in action Wednesday at home against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, first pitch is at 6 p.m.

Courtesy:  UE Sports Information Dept   Copyright 2018, WFIE, all rights reserved.