SAINT LEO, Fla. – Just over a month into his new spot on the Saint Leo baseball team, shortstop Ryan Powers has nearly left his mark on the record-books as he came within two runs of the SLU single-game record for RBI in the Lions’ 29-8 thrashing of American International College on Saturday afternoon.
The junior went 5-for-7 on the day with nine RBI as he hit a game-high three doubles and two singles, with both of his singles coming in the eighth inning. After today’s 21-hit team performance, Powers leads the squad in hitting by just .001 over Ryan Brnovich with a .418 average. He is also on pace to break the single-season doubles record as he currently has 13 ( the record is 24 set by Mike Lloyd and Brian Castellano in 1989). He also has a team-leading 31 RBI so far this season.
Powers nearly reached the school record of 11 RBI set by both Phil Ross and Erik Shafer. Ross set the mark on March 18, 1985 against Florida A&M and Shafer tied his record with a two grand-slam performance against Eckerd on April 16, 2001.
Little doubt was left as to who was going to come away victorious after the second inning when the Lions struck for seven runs in the frame, the biggest hit coming on a Powers’ bases-loaded double to the right-centerfield fence that cleared the bags.
Taking a 14-8 lead into the bottom of the eighth, Saint Leo (7-11) flexed their muscles as the lineup, littered with players from the SLU bench, batted around the order twice, scoring 15 runs in the inning off of 11 hits.
Starter Matt Smith worked a gem for the Lions as he did not allow the visiting Yellow Jackets (0-1) a run until 2-2 pitch to left-fielder Dan Bassani was clubbed over the right-field fence for a solo home run in the sixth inning. Smith would even his record at 3-3 as he tossed seven innings and only allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out four Jackets.
The visitors from a snowy Springfield, Mass., who were playing in their first game of the 2010 season, saw Dan Mooney go 3-for-4 with three RBI.
John Hanna (0-1) picked up the loss for AIC after tossing five innings and giving up nine runs.
The Lions will face their next opponent from the Northeast as Bentley University will come to Thomas B. Southard Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Game time is schedule for 1:00 p.m. on the Saint Leo campus.