LakePoint, Ga. - ASUN Conference Baseball took three out of seven decisions on Saint Patrick's Day, as the original eight scheduled competitions were shortened by the weather. No. 21 FGCU improved to 16-3, while North Florida won off some impressive mound presence and USC Upstate once again showed off late inning heroics. Lipscomb's opening game against Illinois State was cancelled due to inclement conditions and will be made up through a doubleheader on Saturday.
North Florida held its opponent to under three runs for the 10th time this season in a 4-2 win over visiting Bradley. Despite being held without an extra-base knock for just the third time on the year, the Ospreys were able to string together four runs off of two singles and a pair of errors in the second inning of Friday's game. Yahir Gurrola brought in a pair of runs during that frame, while teammate Blake Voyles finished one-for-two with a pair of walks.
Sophomore Austin Drury tossed the longest outing of his career aginst Bradley, facing just six over the minimum in 8.1 innings of work. The southpaw struck out five but gave up his third home run of the season during the eighth to force Matthew Naylor to come on in relief. Naylor closed out the final two-thirds to obtain his second save of 2017.
No. 21 FGCU moved to 6-1 against power-five schools this season, dropping Rutgers at home by a count of 5-2. The Eagles take the series lead on the Scarlet Knights as the Fort Myers' squad led from start to finish of the Friday contest. Corey Fehribach extended his on base streak to 14 straight appearances while junior Spencer Levine continued his own streak of 16. Levine finished the night with two RBIs off two hits, and is tied for first in the ASUN with 20 runs driven in.
The Eagles had a big day from the mound as Garrett Anderson moved to 2-0 on the year, and hurled the longest start of his career at 8.0 IP. Anderson tied a career-high with eight strikeouts and gave up his two runs of the night off of two solo homers in the third and fourth innings. Sterling Koerner closed out the game for his sixth save of the season. The righty has four more saves than any other ASUN pitcher this year and his career total of 13 is just one removed from tying a program record.
After trailing nearly the entire night, USC Upstate's matchup against Quinnipiac ended with a bang, as senior catcher Charlie Carpenter finished things with a two-run walk off homer in the ninth. The Spartans have become quite familiar with walk-off wins this season, with Friday night's 5-3 victory marking their third of 2017. Carpenter would go three-for-three on the night overall while Zach Krider brought in two runs of his own on a couple of doubles.
Jordan Miller stole the win after coming in relief during the eighth inning. Trotting to the mound with the go ahead run in scoring position, Miller struck out the first batter he faced and and ended the frame on a fly out. The Spartan pitching staff gave up a total of 14 base runners on the night but were able to strand the majority of them to keep their opponent to under four runs for the sixth time in 2017.
Kennesaw State was unable to stave off the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners after taking a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning, while Jacksonville was blanked in Orlando versus UCF. NJIT held a lead against James Madison on Friday before the hardest hitting team in the CAA tallied five home runs in a 20-6 victory. Stetson rounded out the night with a loss to Fairfield despite outhitting the Stags 9-7 at Melching Field.
All eight ASUN squads get to work on Saturday with Lipscomb and NJIT both completing doubleheaders. The Bisons' morning game along with Kennesaw State's second matchup against OU can both be seen on ESPN3, while Hatters fans can catch game two of Stetson's series with Fairfield on Hatter Vision.
ASUN Baseball Scores
Friday, March 17th
No. 21 FGCU 5, Rutgers 2; Box Score
W: G. Anderson (2-0) SV: Koerner (6) L: O'Reilly (1-4)
North Florida 4, Bradley 2; Box Score
W: A. Drury (3-1) SV: Naylor (2) L: Stong (1-2)
USC Upstate 5, Quinnipiac 3; Box Score
W: Miller (1-0) L: Enns (0-1)
NJIT 6, James Madison 20; Box Score
W: Withers (4-0) SV: Bourne (1) L: Saviano (0-4)
Kennesaw State 2, No. 12 Oklahoma 5; Box Score
W: Irvin (5-0) SV: Fink (1) L: Dibrell (1-2)
Jacksonville 0, UCF 4; Box Score
W: Howell (4-0) L: Baumann (1-2)
Stetson 2, Fairfield 5; Box Score
W: Signore (1-2) SV: Bonaiuto (1) L: Wilson (1-2)
Saturday, March 18th Schedule
Lipscomb vs. Illinois State - 12 PM CT (ESPN3)
North Florida vs. Bradley - 1 PM
NJIT at James Madison - 1 PM
Stetson vs. Fairfield - 2 PM (Hatter Vision)
USC Upstate vs. Quinnipiac - 2 PM
No. 21 FGCU vs. Rutgers - 2 PM
Kennesaw State vs. No. 12 Oklahoma - 2 PM (ESPN3)
NJIT at James Madison - 3:30 PM
Lipscomb vs. Illinois State - 3:30 PM CT
Jacksonville vs. UCF - 7 PM