The FGCU baseball team (37-21, 19-8 A-Sun) let an early lead slip away against Lipscomb (36-26, 17-10 A-Sun) in the second round of the 2014 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship Thursday night, ultimately falling 5-4.
The Eagles now are in survival mode as another loss eliminates them from the tournament. FGCU squares off against Jacksonville at 7 p.m. Friday at Swanson Stadium.
Brady Anderson took the ball Thursday night and cruised through his 7 2/3 innings of work, allowing eight hits and striking out three with just one walk. After that second out of the eighth is when Anderson ran into trouble giving up three runs before Nick Deckert came on in relief.
Nick Rivera of Cape Coral was the only FGCU hitter to register multiple hits, including a two-run double in the first that scored the games' first runs. He also scored twice to ensure that he was involved in all four Eagles runs. Andrew Valencia collected the only other RBI with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
"This game was a very uncharacteristic of us," head coach Dave Tollett added. "It's a tough situation we're in now. We are going to have to have some help from our pitching but we are also going to need to hit better than we did tonight."
Jake Noll ultimately saw his 18-game hit streak come to an end. He led off the game with a walk for the Eagles and promptly followed by Colton Bottomley. With the runners on second and third with one out after a passed ball, Rivera doubled down the left-field line to drive in both runs. Two batters later in a first and third situation a second passed ball allowed Rivera to score and make it 3-0.
The Eagles left the bases loaded the bases in the fifth without pushing across a run.
Lipscomb got three runs off Anderson in the eighth, turning things over to the FGCU lineup in the bottom half with a 5-3 deficit to work with. Rivera led off the bottom of the eighth with a single through the left side and Zack Tillery followed with a walk. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position for Valencia, who lifted a sac fly to right to make it 5-4.
The Eagles are playing for the right to a rematch with Lipscomb on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. Should the Eagles advance past JU, they would have to hand Lipscomb two losses on Saturday to advance to Sunday's championship game.