Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (May 6, 2008) – The Saint Leo University baseball team (30-22, 9-13 SSC) split a Sunshine State Conference doubleheader at Nova Southeastern University (31-21, 14-8 SSC) to conclude the 2008 season with 30 wins on Tuesday. The Lions fell 3-2 in game one before clinching the series win with a 9-7 win in the seven-inning second game.
T.J. Alonzo (Jr., Tampa, Fla.) went 2-for-4 in the opener with a pair of RBI to reach 60 RBI for the season. In game two senior Brandin Daniel (Punta Gorda, Fla.) went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, while freshman Anthony Santa (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and 2B Jonathan Duncan (Jr., Starke, Fla.) went 1-for-3 with three RBI in the nightcap.
In game one, the Lions rallied from a pair of one-run deficits but could not get in front of the Sharks. NSU scored one run in the first with Saint Leo tying the game with an RBI single by Alonzo. The Sharks regained their one-run lead in the fourth, but Alonzo drove in his second run of the contest to tie it at 2-2 in the sixth. NSU went in front for good in the bottom of the sixth to even the series.
Saint Leo game one starter Carter Clements (Sr., Eustis, Fla.) went the distance for his second straight start, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits and striking out six. He fell to 6-4 on the season with the loss.
NSU jumped out to the early lead in game two as well, as the Sharks scored four runs to take a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
SLU cut into the lead with a run in the second and then took the lead with a six-run fourth inning. The first five Saint Leo batters registered hits in the inning, including an RBI single by Daniel, a two-run double from Duncan and an RBI double by Jason Hamm (So., Tampa, Fla.). Bobby Munoz (Jr., Tampa, Fla.) capped off the six run inning with a two-run home run over the left field fence.
NSU rallied to within a run with three runs in the sixth, but the Lions added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to provide the final margin and win their fourth SSC series of the season.
Saint Leo freshman Matthew Smith (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) got credit for the win in game two, as he improved to 6-1. Reliever Shane Buriff (Sr., Lutz, Fla.) was credited with his first save, as he threw two innings of shutout ball and allowed just one hit to shut out the Sharks and end their comeback hopes.