Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (May 5, 2008) – The Saint Leo University baseball team (29-21, 8-12 SSC) opened a three-game Sunshine State Conference series at Nova Southeastern University (30-20, 13-7 SSC) with a 13-9 win in 12 innings on Monday night.
Yunior Tabares (Sr., Tampa, Fla.) delivered what proved to be the game-winning run with an RBI double in the bottom of the 12th inning, and Anthony Santa (Fr., Land O’Lakes, Fla.) had a three-run double to ice the game in the 12th and give the Lions the win in the first game of the three-game SSC series.
Saint Leo reliever Reid Tilson (Jr., Brandon, Fla.) picked up the win to improve to 5-3, as he retired the Sharks in order twice and allowed just one hit in 3.0 innings.
Saint Leo fell behind 5-0 in the second inning and trailed throughout the game, but continued to battle and kept within three runs throughout much of the game. The Lions eventually took their first lead when they plated four runs in the eighth to open a 9-8 advantage. Kyle Hobbs (Jr., Dade City, Fla.) capped off the inning with a two-run home run.
NSU evened the game in the bottom of the eighth sending the contest into extra innings. The Sharks had the winning run on third in the bottom of the ninth, but a fly out ended the threat.
The Lions eventually scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the 12th inning, as Hobbs led off with a double. A Bobby Munoz (Jr., Tampa, Fla.) fly out to center field moved Hobbs to third, and following an intentional walk to T.J. Alonzo (Jr., Tampa, Fla.), Tabares delivered an RBI double to score Hobbs.
Following an intentional walk to Jonathan Duncan (Jr., Starke, Fla.) and a strike out, Santa cleared the bases with a two-out double to right-center to give Saint Leo a 13-9 lead. The margin proved to be enough, as the Lions ended the Sharks’ hopes of a first-ever SSC title.
The teams will conclude the 2008 regular season on Tuesday with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.