FSW Wins First Game In Southern Conference

AJ Shaver (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/CaptivePhotons.com)
AJ Shaver (Photo by Linwood Ferguson/CaptivePhotons.com)
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers banged out six extra base hits and a pair of relievers combined for 4 1/3 innings of scoreless work out of the bullpen as the Bucs won their first game as members of the Southern Conference 6-2 over the Indian River State Pioneers Wednesday at Buccaneers Park in Fort Myers. 
It was a pitcher's dual as expected early on as the Bucs Marty Gair squared off against the Pioneers Khaden Washington who beat FSW in the Region VIII Tournament a season ago. 
Gair struck out a pair in the 1st and worked a quick 1-2-3 top of the 2nd while Washington kept FSW without a hit through two as the game was scoreless as it went to the 3rd. 
The Bucs shot themselves in the foot with back to back errors in the 3rd to allow Indian River to crack the scoreboard first, but they leveled the score at 1 in the 4th as AJ Shaver doubled to lead off the frame and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Derek Williams later in the frame. 
Indian River went back in front 2-1 on the Bucs third throwing error of the contest in the 5th.  
The Bucs put together some two out magic in the 6th as Joel Gardner banged a double the other way and Williams crushed his eighth home run of the season out to left behind it to put FSW back in front 3-2. 
Bucs relievers Colin Brodeur and Lucas Hartman put up a zero in the top of the 7th to take the game to stretch time with FSW still in front 3-2. 
FSW added some insurance in the 8th as Gardner ripped his second double of the game to drive home a run and Anthony Westbrook legged out an infield single to make it 6-2 Bucs after eight. 
The insurance was nice but not needed as Hartman worked a scoreless 9th, finishing it off in style with a strikeout to give the Bucs a 6-2 win in their 2023 Southern Conference opener. 
The Bucs banged out 10 hits in the win including six for extra bases.  Gardner finished 3-4 with a pair of doubles while Shaver was 2-3 with two doubles of his own and Williams was 2-3 with a homer and three RBIs.  Gair pitched well, but didn't factor in the decision, striking out eight without allowing an earned run in 4 2/3 innings of work.  Brodeur earned the victory to improve to 2-0 on the year, going 1 2/3 innings scoreless allowing three hits and picking up a strikeout. Hartman earned his second save of the year with 2 2/3 innings of one hit baseball while striking out four.  
FSW improves to 16-9 on the year with the win while taking their first conference game in the Southern Conference.  Indian River falls to 14-8 overall and drops their 2023 league opener. 
The Bucs and Pioneers will be back in action on Friday in Fort Pierce for game two of the series, before wrapping things up at Buccaneers Park Saturday in a 2 PM first pitch.