LakePoint, Ga. - Lipscomb and No. 21 FGCU completed sweeps as ASUN Conference Baseball finished 5-3 this Sunday. North Florida and USC Upstate both won their three-game series as Jacksonville and Stetson were victorious in their finales.
Alex Brait went three-for-four while hitting his first collegiate career home run in No. 21 FGCU's 8-3 victory over Rutgers. The win completes the Eagles' second weekend series sweep of the season and their fourth consecutive win. Spencer Levine extended his on base streak to 18 and took the conference lead in RBIs at 24, driving in a pair of runs off of three knocks in his squad's 18th victory of the year. A day removed from tying a program best nine RBIs, Nick Rivera went two-for-four and finishes the series slashing .636/.692/1.364 in three games.
FGCU righty Peyton Gray moved to 2-0 on the year, in a quality 6.1 innings pitched with just two earned runs against. The junior struck out six of the 25 he faced, as he and the rest of the home team staff kept Rutgers without a single walk drawn. Kenton Hering and Sterling Koerner pitched the eighth and ninth frames respectively, as Hering went perfect and Koerner made his fourth straight scoreless appearance.
Lipscomb was the second ASUN member to complete the sweep on Sunday, dropping the Illinois State Redbirds 8-3. Seven of the Bisons' nine starters touched first with Michael Gigliotti recording a game-high three knocks. Gigliotti collected three hits for the first time since Lipscomb's 2016 regular season finale with Stetson on the way to adding his conference-leading 20th walk of the year. Sophomore Zeke Dodson drove in three runs while going one-for-one with a pair of sac flys, as teammate Allan Hooker hit his first long ball of the season in the bottom of the seventh and shot a double to right field in the fourth.
Dayton Tripp toed the rubber for Lipscomb in the beginning stages of Sunday's contest but was pulled after four innings in favor of sophomore Kyle Kemp. Kemp tossed four perfect innings with four strikeouts to secure victory for the home side, with Ryan Stevens capping off the game on a one-run ninth.
A three-run seventh inning gave USC Upstate the fuel it needed to beat Quinnipiac for the second time this weekend, claiming the three-game series with a 5-3 victory in the finale. The Spartans recorded four hits in that frame with Zach Krider, Hunter Gilbert and Devon Ortiz bringing in runs. Gilbert went two-for-three with a walk and center fielder Brendan Brundage secured his fifth straight hitting performance.
Blake Whitney grabbed his second win of the year, striking out two and giving up a single hit over a shutout seventh. The Upstate staff struck out seven batters altogether while holding their opponents to one walk for the third time this year.
In a low scoring matchup with Fairfield, Stetson's trio of runs were enough to secure victory as the Hatters blanked the visiting Stags 3-0. Sophomore Jacob Koos went yard for the first time in almost a month, stinging a ball to right field in his first at bat of the day. Colton Lightner registered his fourth and fifth hits of the series while helping turn a double play for the third time in the Hatters' three games against Fairfield.
Logan Gilbert went seven innings deep for the second time this year and faced just six batters over the minimum. Gilbert and Ryan Stark combined for the shutout while giving up five hits, as Stark made his second save of 2017.
After being held to a total of three runs in the first two games of the series, Jacksonville's offense exploded in its finale with UCF to win 7-1. Senior Seth DeWitt tied a career-high four RBIs off a single and a double, to finish the weekend with three knocks. Scott Dubrule recorded a pair of hits himself to finish his three performances against the Knights five-for-13 with two runs scored. Freshman Evan Fernandez made his second straight start on the way to drawing a career-high three bases on balls.
Despite making six starts in 2017, Sunday's game marked Casey Kulina's first decision of the year, tallying his first win in six shutout innings. Kulina allowed only three hits in his time from the bump while dealing out six strikeouts. JU's arms retrieved 10 Ks on the afternoon, giving the team its 10th double-digit outing of the year.
North Florida fell in the finale of its series with Bradley, while No. 12 Oklahoma and James Madison each put up a 14-spot in wins over Kennesaw State and NJIT. ASUN Baseball takes Monday off before getting back to work with six contests on March 21st. Kennesaw State will play Georgia after beating the Bulldogs 5-4 at the end of February as Lipscomb heads to Murfreesboro to complete its 2017 series with MTSU. Stetson and Jacksonville round out this week's top-25 matchups, playing No. 1 Florida State at home and hosting No. 5 Florida respectively.
ASUN Baseball Scores
Sunday, March 18th
Stetson 3, Fairfield 0; Box Score
W: Gilbert (3-0) SV: Stark (2) L: Dube (0-1)
No. 21 FGCU 8, Rutgers 3; Box Score
W: Gray (2-0) L: Rosa (2-1)
USC Upstate 5, Quinnipiac 3; Box Score
W: Whitney (2-2) SV: Hathaway (1) L: Workman (2-1)
Jacksonville 7, UCF 1; Box Score
W: Kulina (1-0) L: Sheridan (3-2)
Lipscomb 8, Illinois State 3; Box Score
W: Kemp (2-1) L: Huffman (1-1)
North Florida 2, Bradley 4; Box Score
W: Cook (4-0) SV: Scheuermann (1) L: Depperman (0-1)
Kennesaw State 4, No. 12 Oklahoma 14; Box Score
W: Perez (4-0) L: Ward (1-1)
NJIT 2, James Madison 14; Box Score
W: Silvestri (2-0) L: Sondergard (0-1)
Tuesday, March 21st Schedule
Kennesaw State vs. Georgia - 5 PM (ASUN.TV)
USC Upstate vs. Charleston Southern - 6 PM
Jacksonville at No. 1 Florida State - 6 PM (ACCN)
North Florida at South Florida - 6:30 PM
Stetson vs. No. 5 Florida - 6:30 PM (ESPN3)
Lipscomb at MTSU - 6 PM CT