WINTER PARK, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team notched their first conference win of 2009 as they upended Rollins College in the first game of a day-night doubleheader in Sunshine State Conference action from Alfond Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions (2-10, 1-2 SSC) started off the day with an offensive explosion, belting two home runs and eight hits overall en route to an 8-2 win over the Tars.
SLU built a 4-0 lead into the sixth inning, which included a Kyle Hobbs two-run home run to left field on the first pitch he saw in the third inning, before the host Tars were able to get on the board.
After Rollins (8-4, 2-1 SSC) spoiled the Lions’ shutout bid in the bottom of the frame, the Green & Gold tacked on three more runs in the seventh and a lone run in the eighth to extend the lead to 8-1.
During that three-run seventh the Lions became very selective at the plate, and as a result, drew two walks to open the frame. After a pitching change, a sacrifice bunt by JD Cook, a Rollins balk, and a Bobby Munoz single through the right-side plated two runs for Saint Leo. The final run of the inning came from a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield from the bat of Dustin Brown that scored Hobbs.
Lions’ starter JC Suarez (1-1) was credited with the win going 5.2 innings and limiting the Tars to just one run. Relievers Eric Nickolaison and Santi Arencibia combined to finish out the game allowing just one more run to hand the Lions the win.
In the second game, Rollins’ starter Tim Griffin notched 12 strikeouts and gave up one run to deny the Lions a doubleheader sweep as the Tars earned a 9-1 victory in game two.
Rollins collected 14 hits in the nightcap and cruised scoring at least one run in the final five innings while holding the Saint Leo to just one run throughout the contest.
Lions’ starter Seth Fowler (0-2) picked up his second loss of the year surrendering five runs off of nine hits in 3.1 innings of work.
The Lions will return home on Tuesday to face Warner University in a non-conference mid-week tilt. The Lions and Royals will square off at Thomas B. Southard Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m.