SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo baseball team scored all of their runs in two early innings and held on at the end to defeat the visiting Eckerd College Tritons 7-5 in non-conference action at Thomas B. Southard Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Known throughout the conference for their leadoff home runs, the Lions got a bit of their own medicine as Eckerd leadoff hitter Chris Clinton roped a 2-2 fastball over the left centerfield wall to put the Tritons up 1-0.
The Lions response in the bottom of the inning would chase EC starter J.W. Kilpatrick (4-2) from the game before he could complete an inning. After the Lions’ leadoff hitter recorded the first out, Saint Leo proceeded to see their next six batters safely reach base and the Lions had a comfortable 4-1 lead.
After getting through the second inning with no runs, Aaron McLamar began inning number three with a no-doubter to left-center field. At the end of the third, the Lions had plated three more runs to push the score to 7-1.
Errors would affect the Lions’ defensive efforts over the course of the next few innings as a lone error in the fourth allowed a run to score and then two errors in the seventh allowed two more runs to score. Add another run in the sixth inning and suddenly the Lions were looking at a 7-5 ballgame.
The Saint Leo coaching staff would look to their occasionally shaky bullpen and find Matt Smith, who proceeded to shut down Tritons over the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.
Freshman Cory Casuso (1-2) picked up the first win of his career as he tossed five complete and surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits.
Jason Hamm and Eugene Garnett were the only two Lions who recorded multiple hits as Hamm went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Garnett with 2-for-4 with an RBI as well.
The Lions will now host Nova Southeastern in a Sunshine State Conference series that will be played over Saturday and Sunday. The series will get underway at Thomas B. Southard Stadium with a doubleheader scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.