SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team (3-3) gets an early look at some of their Sunshine State Conference competition on Saturday evening when they kick off a three-game non-conference series against Barry University (2-5) on the Southard Stadium diamond at 6:00 p.m.
SLU will face the Buccaneers in a three game set with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Lions are coming off of two tough road trips to Georgia where the weather was a factor in canceling two games, one at Valdosta State and the other at Columbus State. The Lions succeeded in taking just one of those weather-influenced games, pulling out a 7-5 victory over Valdosta while dropping both games to Columbus State.
SLU answered the 1-3 season start by picking up two wins in a row; beating Eckerd College 9-3 and Southeastern University 12-10. In the two games the Lion bats exploded to life as SLU scored 29 runs on 21 hits.
During the two-game win streak, transfer shortstop Ryan Powers went 5-for-9 with two doubles, one home run and drove in six runs. Slugging first baseman JC Suarez was 6-for-11 with six singles, three runs scored and drove in two runs at the leadoff spot. 2009 SSC Freshman of the Year, right fielder Dustin Brown went 5-for-9 as well with a double and is currently the only Lion with a triple on the season. Brown drove in five runs (four against Southeastern) and stole three bases.
After struggles from the mound during the 2009 season, the SLU pitching staff is number two in the SSC behind the University of Tampa as of the beginning of the week. In their first four games, the Lions pitching staff had an earned run average of 4.34 in 29 innings of work. SLU gave up 14 runs on 24 hits and struck out 23. Pitcher Matthew Stalvey is eighth in the conference, pitching nine innings with an ERA of 2.00 with seven strikeouts.
Barry finished their 2009 campaign with a 44-11 overall record and an 18-6 Sunshine State Conference record, winning the SSC regular season championship. The Buccaneers have struggled to start the 2010 season. Barry is expected to finish fourth in the SSC in preseason viting. The Buccaneers are coming into tonight’s game on a two-game winning streak after dropping their first five games of the season. To start the 2010 season, Barry was ranked as high as 14th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The Buccaneer’s Ryan Garcia leads the conference in hitting, batting a stout .571 with 12 hits, three doubles, three runs scored and five RBI.
Saint Leo holds the all-time record against their SSC opponent 49-37. During the 2009 season, the Buccaneers swept the Lions in a three-game set in Miami Shores. This will be the first of two series’ between the Bucs and the Lions during the 2010 season as Barry will make another trip to Southard Stadium for a three-game SSC set at the end of March.
Audio cast and live stats can be accessed on SaintLeoLions.com by clicking the Multimedia tab.