SAINT LEO, Fla. – A seven-run bottom of the first inning set an ominous tone as the Saint Leo baseball team saw the University of Tampa take a three-run deficit and turn it into a 13-5 victory in non-conference action on a cold and rainy Wednesday night from Tampa’s Sam Bailey Field.
The Lions (4-7) jumped out of the gates in the first inning as they plated four runs on UT starter Daniel Foltz. After a leadoff single to J.C. Suarez and Ware Hart was hit by the pitch, Dustin Brown roped a triple to right-centerfield plated both the runs and had the Lions up 2-0 before the first out.
Finishing the top of the frame with a 3-0 advantage, the Lions’ starting pitcher Austin Buck would struggle in a 43-minute first inning as he only managed a third of an inning and allowed seven Spartans to touch home as the hosts batted through the lineup. After that frame, Saint Leo was trying to play catch up for the remainder, ultimately to no avail.
Despite getting the majority of their runs in the first two innings, the Lions still managed 11 hits throughout the course of the game. The Lions were led by the senior Suarez with a 3-for-5 night as Brown and Ryan Powers each went 2-for-5 with Brown notching two RBI.
Ryan Gawrych and Kory Wan each blasted long home runs, with Wan’s to the deepest part of the part in dead centerfield.
Buck (1-1) was the pitcher of record for the Lions while the Spartans second hurler of the evening, Tom Meagher (1-0), earned the win for Tampa.
Saint Leo will now turn their attention toward their first Sunshine State Conference series of the 2010 season as they host Rollins in a three-game series over the weekend. The Lions will host the Tars on Friday night in the series-opener at Thomas B. Southard Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m.