By Colin Voreis, Ave Maria (Fla.) Sports Information Director
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Ave Maria (Fla.) baseball team took down NCAA Division I 23rd ranked Florida Gulf Coast University on Sunday afternoon, 8-6. The win marked another milestone in Gyrene athletics, the most wins in a season in AMU baseball history. The win also marks the first win against an NCAA Division I opponent in baseball, and the first win against a ranked NCAA Division I team for any sport in school history.
Junior Joe Bocchino was all the Gyrenes needed on the mound, going nine innings on the day, with five strikeouts and only gave up three earned runs. Tucker Starkey led the Gyrenes offensively, hitting 4-for-5 on the day and recording one RBI. Trace McDermott went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Conor Sullivan went 1-for-4 with three RBI.
Tucker Starkey started off the game with a double to center field, and three batters later Gabe Loweree drove in Starkey on a sacrifice fly as the Gyrenes took a 1-0 lead. AMU scored again in the second on a sacrifice fly from Aaron Pigna, and Bocchino held the Eagles scoreless until the fourth inning. The score was 2-0 AMU through four.
In the fifth, each team scored three to make the score 5-4. The Gyrenes came back in the sixth to score two, and took a commanding 7-5 lead on the Eagles. AMU weathered a run from FGCU in the seventh and scored one more in the ninth to finally take the game 8-6.
AMU improved to 23-10 and FGCU fell to 13-4. The Eagles are currently ranked 23rd in the NCAA Division I Collegiate Baseball Top 25 that was released on March 11.