SAINT LEO, Fla. – After struggling to put runs on the board in their previous game, the Saint Leo baseball team more than made up for it on Tuesday night as they handed visiting Eckerd College a 15-3 defeat in non-conference action at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.
Playing in their first game against in-state competition since Rollins over 10 days ago, the SLU (10-11) bats awoke early, hanging a seven-spot on the visiting Tritons in the second inning. An unusual frame saw eight hits from Saint Leo bats – seven singles and an inside the park home run from the bat of second baseman Ryan Brnovich – helped the Lions answer an early run from Eckerd.
Brnovich’s in-the-parker came when he roped a shot into the right-centerfield gap. A diving right-fielder misjudged the distance and saw the ball scoot past his glove and roll all the way to the wall. Seeing the opportunity, Brnovich turned on the jets and beat the throw home for the round-tripper.
Settling into his first start of the season, Cody Johnson (1-0) tossed six innings of four hit ball en route to his first victory of the season. His only bad pitch came in the second inning when Eckerd outfielder Minervino Labrador clubbed a ball over the left-field wall to give the visitors from St. Petersburg a brief lead.
A night where the Lions pounded out 23 hits, every SLU starter but one managed to pick up multiple hits on the evening as Ryan Powers and Blake Turner went 3-for-4 with Powers notching two RBI. J.C. Suarez picked up the most hits for the Lions as he went 4-for-6.
Labrador was the Tritons’ best performer as he went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Eckerd (10-6) starting pitcher Joe Clagg only made it through the first inning as he picked up the loss for EC.
After playing four straight games and pushing their win-streak to six, the Lions will take a few days off before heading down to South Florida to face defending national champion Lynn University in a weekend Sunshine State Conference series. The Lions will begin with a Saturday doubleheader against the Fighting Knights with the first pitch scheduled for noon in Boca Raton.