Gulakowski Belts 2 Home Runs as Liberty Downs FGCU to Open ASUN Tournament
Brady Gulakowski drove in all four Liberty runs with two home runs, powering the No. 1 seed Flames to a 4-3 win over the No. 4 seed FGCU Eagles on the opening day of Pool A play at the ASUN Baseball Championship at Swanson Stadium.
Gulakowski tied the game with a three-run home run in the fourth inning and belted the go-ahead round tripper leading off the seventh in the Flames’ victory. With his two home-run day, he now leads Liberty with 15 home runs on the season.
Flames starter Dylan Cumming and reliever Mason Fluharty combined to hold the high-powered FGCU offense to three runs on eight hits in the contest.
Liberty opens Pool A play in the ASUN Tournament with a 1-0 mark and moves to 34-20 overall on the season. FGCU starts the tournament 0-1 and drops to 34-22 overall.
Box Score Highlights
Records: FGCU (34-22, 0-1 Pool A); Liberty (34-20, 1-0 Pool A)
Location: Fort Myers, Fla. (Swanson Stadium)
WP: Mason Fluharty (5-3) | LP: Gus Carter (2-1)
1st INNING – FGCU – Farrow homers, Ellis scores, 2-0
4th INNING – FGCU – Sartori homers, 3-0
4th INNING – Gulakowski homers, Foster and Mathieu score, 3-3
7th INNING – Gulakowski homers, 4-3
– Liberty and FGCU had eight hits each in the contest. The Eagles committed three errors.
– Each team left eight men on base.
– Every run in the contest was scored on a home run.
– Liberty right fielder Aaron Anderson collected three hits in the contest. Teammate Cameron Foster added two and scored a run.
– Fluharty records the win. The left-hander allowed one hit and did not allow a run over the final three innings. He struck out two.
– After a rough first inning, Cumming bounced back to give up three runs on eight hits over seven innings. He struck out six and walked five.
– FGCU reliever Gus Carter allowed one run on two hits over three innings. He struck out five and walked two.
– Eagle second baseman Logan Sartori had three hits and hit a home run in the game.
– Left fielder Ian Farrow hit his 21st home run of the year in the contest for FGCU.
In the top of the seventh and the score tied at 3-3, the first FGCU batters reached against Cumming, causing Liberty head coach Scott Jackson to go to the bullpen for left-hander Mason Fluharty to face the middle of the Eagles’ order. The reliever got the first batter he faced, third baseman Alejandro Figueredo, to pop up on the infield to second baseman Nathan Keeter for the first out of the inning. He then induced a ground ball to third baseman Cameron Foster who stepped on the third base bag and fired to first to complete the double play and end the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Gulakowski ripped the first pitch he saw from FGCU reliever Gus Carter way over the right field way to give the Flames a 4-3 lead they never relinquished.
Beyond the Box Score
– Liberty is playing in its third ASUN Baseball Championship. The Flames have qualified for the tournament in each of their three years in the conference.
– By virtue of seed, the Flames were the home team against the Eagles, even though the two teams were playing on FGCU’s home field, Swanson Stadium.
– Flames pitching set a new program record for strikeouts in a season, striking out its 560th batter today. The mark eclipses the previous record of 552 set in 2019. Cumming’s strikeout of FGCU catcher Alejandro Rodriguez to end the fifth inning set the new record.
– Gulakowski, the 2022 ASUN All-Conference first team designated hitter, now leads the Flames with 15 home runs on the season. It is a career-high for the senior. He also leads Liberty with 58 RBI.
No. 1 seed Liberty continues Pool A play in the ASUN Baseball Championship. The Flames will square off with the No. 3 seed Kennesaw State Owls at Swanson Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m.