SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team has finally seen its offensive production go through the roof as the Lions managed 11 hits and scored 13 runs against visiting St. Anselm College on Monday night. The only problem was that the Lions’ pitching surrendered 18 hits and 15 runs to the guests in a 15-13 loss in a contest that clocked in at exactly four hours at a frigid Thomas B. Southard Stadium.
After both teams traded big innings during the opening stanzas, St. Anselm (2-2) answered a 7-2 Saint Leo lead by dropping a five-spot on the Lions in the top of the fifth inning. SLU saw two defensive miscues start the inning ominously, leading up to a four-hit frame that knotted the game.
After a Bryan Davis homer to left put the Lions back on top in the bottom of the inning, the visitors from New Hampshire answered with three more in the sixth when another four-hit frame sparked the Hawks.
The Lions (5-13) again tied the score in the seventh, but a two-run eighth proved to be the difference-maker for the Hawks.
St. Anselm plated three more runs in the ninth to go up 15-10, and the Lions again answered with three in the bottom of the ninth.
Saint Leo looked to be in prime position for an unbelievable rally as, with two outs, catcher Jason Hamm knocked an infield single to the shortstop. With two runners moving, both managed to slide in safely at second and third before the throw to second could force Kyle Hobbs, which loaded the bases.
In line with the Lions’ luck since the start of the season, Hobbs momentum caused him to overrun second base as his back foot came off the bag and the St. Anselm second baseman kept the tag on the Saint Leo center fielder to end the game.
Four Lions had multiple hits in the loss as Bobby Munoz came off the bench to go 2-for-3 with three RBI. He was matched by second baseman Jonathan Duncan who went 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Senior Dale Slimick (0-1) was saddled with the loss as he was the pitcher of record when the Lions surrendered the lead. He was one of five Lions hurlers who toed the rubber for the evening.
Reliever Mike Fantini (1-0) picked up the win for the Hawks, who depart from Southard Stadium with a 2-1 series win over the Lions.
Saint Leo has another quick turnaround as they change jerseys and face St. Joseph’s College on Tuesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be carried live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.