SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University baseball team used a five-run third inning to overcome an early deficit as they rallied to defeat Webber International University 12-9 in non-conference action at Thomas B. Southard Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Lions, who posted their 20th win of 2009 with the victory, watched as Webber plated three runs in the top of the opening inning. The Warriors seemed to have Lions’ starter Cory Casuso’s number as first baseman MJ Wilson stroked Casuso’s first pitch of the second inning over the left field wall to put the visitors up 4-1.
The Webber homer would be Casuso’s final pitch of the evening as the Saint Leo coaching staff would insert Eric Nickolaison to try and stabilize the pitching efforts. Although Nickolaison would surrender two more runs in the second inning, he would settle down and allow the Lion bats an opportunity to begin the comeback.
Heading into the third inning down 6-3, with a Kyle Hobbs triple and a Dustin Brown home run getting the Lions on the board, SLU would put their mark on the game in dominating fashion. The Lions would bat through the order as seven hits, all of which were singles, saw SLU score five runs, the biggest hit of the inning coming from Jason Hamm as his single through the right side of the infield to score Brown and Aaron McLamar.
The Saint Leo bullpen, led by the duo of Caleb Fuddy and Jamie Tutko, would only allow three more runs throughout the final six innings as they helped close out the 12-9 win.
Nickolaison (2-1) would earn the win for Saint Leo as he was the pitcher of record when SLU took the lead for good.
Six of the Lions in the starting lineup would post multiple hits as SLU earned 16 hits overall. Eugene Garnett went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and Hamm went 2-for-4 with four RBI. Brown added a 3-for-4 night with two RBI and three runs scored.
Both teams will square off again on Thursday night, this time in Babson Park, Fla. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.