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Strong Seventh Inning Gives FGCU 7-3 Win Over Owls

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Strong Seventh Inning Gives FGCU 7-3 Win Over Owls

An error and two walks set the table for Josh Chester's tie-braking single in seventh inning as Florida Gulf Coast University improved to 3-0 all-time against Florida Atlantic University, winning 7-3 Tuesday night.

Florida Atlantic used eight different pitchers in the midweek tune-up in preparation for its important Sun Belt Conference series at Arkansas State University .

Florida Gulf Coast (30-16) is in its second season playing Division I baseball - winning the Atlantic Sun Conference title in 2008. The Eagles, who will be eligible for postseason play next year, only began its program six years ago, playing as an NAIA independent in 2002 and 2003, and as a Division II independent from 2004-07.

FAU pitchers issued 10 walks, hit another and threw two wild pitches. No FAU player had more than one hit. The walks were costly, one came around to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth and two more would end up resulting in runs during a seventh inning which transformed a tie game into a 6-3 FGCU lead.

With the game even 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, FGCU made FAU account for its mistakes. A fielding error and two walks loaded up the bases for Chester , who hit a two-RBI single off Chris Schmitt (5-3) - two of three Eagles' runs in the inning - and the game moved to the eighth with the Eagles up 6-3.

In the early going, Nick Criaris put FAU up 2-1 after crushing an 0-1 pitch from FGCU starter Craig Crumbly over the right field fence in the fourth. The solo drive was the fifth of the year for Criaris, a senior from Jersey City , New Jersey .

After Alex Pepe walked the FGCU's leadoff batter in the fifth, Josh Upchurch and Tim Roberson followed with singles through the infield, generating a run and tying the game 2-2. Pepe walked another to load the bases and a Chester RBI fielder's choice made it 3-2 Eagles.

Chester finished the night 1-for-3 with four RBI. Upchurch had two hits and scored three runs.

Troy Bubley's RBI single in the seventh scored Nick DelGuidice, who had hit a leadoff double off Derek Shaw (4-2), which had evened the game up at three apiece before FGCU capitalized in the bottom of the inning.

Source:  FAU Media Relations

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