FORT MYERS, Fla. – 14 strikeouts weren't enough for Jacksonville University (12-16, 0-1 ASUN) against #9 Florida Gulf Coast University (24-3, 1-0 ASUN) on Friday. The Eagles won 4-0 on the strength of 10 hits.
"Bottom line is we've got to hit," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "No matter how well you pitch and no matter how many times you strike a team out, we've got to put some pressure on them offensively. Give a lot of credit to Kutter Crawford. He was very sharp, keeping us off balance the entire night, and their bullpen did a great job of putting zeroes on the board. We had our opportunities and just didn't take advantage of them. There weren't very many, but in an ASUN Conference game on Friday night you have to take advantage of those opportunities or you'll end up with a bunch of zeroes on the board."
Michael Baumann contributed 10 of the Dolphins' 14 strikeouts, his third game of double-digit strikeouts this season. The junior righty from Mahtomidi, Minn., has now struck out 56 batters this year in just 38.1 innings of work. He was relieved by Shane Wise after five innings. Wise pitched the sixth and seventh and allowed just one run to score while striking out three, and Mark Potter relieved Wise to start the eighth, striking out one.
The Eagles struck first in the bottom of the second. A leadoff double put a runner in scoring position, and he was scored on an 0-1 pitch that was singled to left field. After two, FGCU led 1-0.
A leadoff walk and a bunt single put runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth, and a groundout advanced both Eagles. On a 1-0 count the next batter singled through the right side, plating both. Baumann ended the threat with a ground out and a fly out, but FGCU led 3-0 after four innings.
In his final inning Baumann earned his eighth, ninth, and 10th strikeouts of the day, but the Eagles still led 3-0, holding the Dolphins hitless through five.
Scott Dubrule broke the no-hitter in the sixth with a 2-2 single with one out, and was advanced to second on a ground out from Evan Fernandez. But a fielder's choice got Dubrule out at third, and the Dolphin threat ended. After six FGCU led 3-0.
Wise had the Eagles down to their final pitch of the seventh inning when a triple to right center put an Eagle just 90 yards from scoring. Wise got a lineout to end the inning, but not before a wild pitch scored the runner on third. After seven FGCU led 4-0, and the score didn't change the rest of the game.
First pitch for Game 2 of the series is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday. Chris Gau will take the mound for the Dolphins looking for his third victory of the year.