LakePoint, Ga. - No. 24 FGCU's 2017 campaign came to an end on Sunday, after No. 2 National Seed North Carolina dropped the Eagles 10-1. The ASUN Conference Champions finish the season with 43 wins after claiming its first-ever ASUN Championship title and first appearance in the NCAA College Baseball Championship.
The Eagles had a tough time at the plate against the Tar Heels pitching staff, accumulating just four hits on the afternoon. The hosting Tar Heels would jump out to an early lead after the opening two frames, scoring three runs before FGCU recorded its first knock in the bottom of the third. After surrending another two, the Eagles would get on the board in the sixth on an Eli Lovell groundout RBI. Lovell would be one of just four Eagles to register a hit on the day, as seven starters in the lineup reached first safely.
With its lead cut to 5-1, UNC continued to add some insurance with another five runs over the seventh and eighth innings, on the way to reaching double digits for the fourth time in its previous seven contests. ASUN All-Freshman Marc Coffers, Corey Fehribach and Jake Smith each picked up a single for their side, as the Eagles were held without an extra-base hit.
Garrett Anderson took only his second loss over 13 starts this year, surrending four earned runs over 4.2 innings of work. Peyton Gray kept the score close after coming in relief of Anderson, retiring the first five batters he met out of the pen. The Tar Heels eventually got to the junior righty however, tallying three hits and four runs against the FGCU hurler. Sterling Koerner recorded the final four outs for the Eagles, as the ASUN-leader in saves (12) gave up two hits during his time on the bump.
Koerner, Anderson, Fehribach and Nick Rivera donned the FGCU green and blue for the final time in their careers, as the four seniors exhaust their eligibility at the college level. ASUN Player of the Year Nick Rivera walks away with D-I career program records in doubles (71), home runs (46) and RBIs (218), while Koerner's career save total (19) sets a school record as well. Anderson finishes with 84 career appearances and Fehribach completes his time in Fort Myers with 93 games played in just two years for the Eagles.
The conclusion of the 2017 season puts an end to Head Coach Dave Tollett's 15th year at the helm of the FGCU ball club. 27 players took the field for Tollett over the course of the year, nine of which were freshman.
National-seeded North Carolina goes on to face Davidson for a second time this tournament, in the Regional Final at 6 PM on Sunday. The Wildcats took the previous decision 8-4 and look to advance to Super Regionals in its first NCAA Baseball Championship appearance.
No. 24 FGCU vs. No. 2 North Carolina Notes
- The Eagles 43 wins mark just the third time the school has reached 40 victories since joining D-I in 2008, and the most it has registered in a single campaign during that time.
- FGCU was held to just a single run for a second consecutive day. The side had not been held to under two runs in two straight outings all year, before its competitions with Davidson and UNC.
- FGCU tied Jacksonville this season with three players elected to the 2017 ASUN Conference All-Freshman team. Selection Richie Garcia ends the season on a 19-game on-base streak, recording a hit in all but two games during that stretch.
- 2017 is the third straight year an ASUN team has been knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Baseball Championship. Kennesaw State was the last to advance to a Super Regional, in 2014.
Chapel Hill Regional Scores - Sunday, June 4th
No. 24 FGCU , No. 2 North Carolina ; Box Score
W: Baum (7-0) L: Anderson (7-2)
No. 2 North Carolina vs. Davidson - 6 PM (ESPN3)
Chapel Hill Regional Schedule - Monday, June 5th
No. 2 North Carolina vs. Davidson - 6 PM (If Necessary)