FORT MYERS, Fla. (Mar. 23, 2012) – Ricky Knapp (4-1) tossed a complete game shutout to lead Florida Gulf Coast (9-13, 3-1 A-Sun) to a 4-0 victory over ETSU (11-9, 1-3 A-Sun), Friday night at Swanson Stadium.
Knapp allowed just six hits and no walks, while striking out eight ETSU batters. The reigning Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week has now extended his scoreless streak to 19.2 straight innings after tossing his second consecutive shutout.
Meanwhile, ETSU starting pitcher John Long (Anderson, S.C.) (4-2) once again pitched solid enough to earn a win as he pitched a complete game, while allowing four runs on just four hits. Long walked two and struck out six, but unfortunately came away with a loss.
The Eagles wasted no time as they plated three runs off two home runs in the first inning to take the early 3-0 lead. Ryan Gebhart led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer over the right field wall for his first homer of the year. After a base-hit by Brandon Bedner, catcher Andrew Valencia drilled the first pitch he saw from Long over the left field wall for his fifth homer of the season to give the Eagles the quick 3-0 lead.
FGCU benefitted from the long ball once again in the fifth inning as shortstop Alex Dias drilled a solo home run to left field for his third homer of the season – giving FGCU a 4-0 lead.
The 4-0 advantage was more than enough run support for Knapp as he was in complete control throughout the contest. ETSU did out-hit Florida Gulf Coast 6-4 on the night; however, the Bucs just could not string hits together in run scoring situations.
Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.), Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.), Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) and Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) each had a hit in the game for the Bucs.
FGCU was led at the plate by Gebhart, Valencia and Diaz as each hit a home run on the night. Brandon Bednar had the only other hit for the Eagles as he finished 1-for-4.
The Bucs and Eagles will continue the series with game two beginning tomorrow at 2 p.m. inside Swanson Stadium. ETSU will send right-hander Derek Bushey (Richmond, Va.) to the mound to face FGCU lefty Andrew Polly.
- Tonight’s game marked just the second time this season that the Bucs have lost a game in which they have given up four runs or less. Previously they were 10-1 when allowing four runs or less.
- This was the first time ETSU has been shutout since April 16, 2011 when the Bucs dropped a 2-0 contest at Belmont.
- With his hit in the first inning, Clinton Freeman has now reached base in 14 consecutive games.
- Andrew Green extended his hitting streak to five straight games after going 1-for-4 on Friday.
- The loss on Friday night was the first for the Bucs when they have not committed an error in the game. ETSU was a perfect 6-0 on the season when not committing an error.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.