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Ninth-Inning Rally Comes Up Short, as Liberty Falls to Florida Gulf Coast 7-4

May 16, 2019  Fort Myers, Fla.  RSS
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Tyler Galazin had three hits and two RBI, Thursday.

Tyler Galazin had three hits and two RBI, Thursday.

 The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles held off a ninth inning rally by the Liberty Flames to take a back-and-forth ASUN series opener 7-4, Thursday evening at Swanson Stadium.

The first two Flames to bat in the ninth reached to bring the tying run to the plate, but Eagle reliever Hunter McGarry was able to work out of the jam to seal the victory.

FGCU came from behind in the contest, hitting three home runs. The lead switched hands five times, before the Eagles took the lead for the final time on a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning by left fielder Keith Stevens.

Liberty third baseman Tyler Galazin led all players in the game with three hits and drove in two runs. First baseman Logan Mathieu belted a home run in the fifth inning to give the Flames a 4-3 advantage.

Liberty falls to 14-8 in ASUN Conference play and 36-17 overall. FGCU, who tops the conference standings, moves to 15-6 in the ASUN and 33-18 overall.

Box Score Highlights
Liberty (36-17, 14-8 ASUN); Florida Gulf Coast (33-18, 15-6 ASUN)
Location: Fort Myers, Fla. (Swanson Stadium)
Attendance: 255
WP: Tyler Shunk (7-1) | LP: Garret Price (7-3) | SV: Hunter McGarry (9)

Scoring Summary
FGCU – 1st INNING – Brait homers, 1-0
LIBERTY – 2nd INNING – Galazin singles, Highfill and Wagner score, 2-1
LIBERTY – 3rd INNING – Guy singles, Highfill scores, 3-1
FGCU – 4th INNING – Garcia homers, Townsend scores, 3-3
LIBERTY – 5th INNING – Mathieu homers, 4-3
FGCU – 6th INNING – Wild pitch, Gonzalez scores, 4-4
FGCU – 7th INNING – Stevens homers, Brait scores, 6-4
FGCU – 8th INNING – Bait flies out, Coffers scores, 7-4

Notable Numbers
- Liberty outhit Florida Gulf Coast, 11-9. Neither team committed an error.

- The Flames left 11 men on base, including three runners in scoring position over the final two innings. The Eagles left eight.

- Five of the Flames first six hits in the contest came from the bottom of the order, as designated hitter Ben Highfill, the No. 6 hitter, and Galazin, the No. 8 hitter each had two hits, while center fielder Jaylen Guy had a RBI single.

- Galazin records his 15th multi-hit game and his fourth three-hit game of the year. Tonight's three-hit game was his second in his last three contests.

- Mathieu's home run was his seventh of the season.

- Stevens' home run was his third of the year, while third baseman Richie Garcia hit his fifth home run of the season and catcher Alex Brait connected on his fourth for the Eagles.

Turning Point
After FGCU took a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh, right fielder Brandon Rohrer and Galazin led off the eighth inning with singles. However, McGarry was able to get Guy to pop out and left fielder Gray Betts to ground into an inning ending double play to snuff out the threat.

Beyond the Box Score
- Liberty and Florida Gulf Coast are meeting on the diamond for the first time, this weekend.

- With the FGCU victory, Liberty will need to win the final two games of the series to claim the ASUN Conference regular season title.

- Liberty left fielder Gray Betts continued the longest reached base streak by a Flame this season in the contest. The freshman extend his streak to 28 consecutive games with a single in the sixth.

Up Next
The Flames and Eagles meet again, tomorrow at Swanson Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.