SAINT LEO, Fla. – In dropping only their second home game in the month of March, the Saint Leo baseball team fell to 6-1 to visiting Doane College (Neb.) in non-conference action on Thursday night.
Things looked promising for the Lions in the first inning when SLU (13-13) managed to plate a run as a leadoff walk to J.C. Suarez became the Lions’ only run as Ryan Powers’ RBI single to centerfield got the good guys on the board. Unfortunately, after that, the game would belong to the Tigers.
The visitors from Crete, Neb. would score their first run in the top of the second as two consecutive two-out walks allowed leftfielder Mike Albert to single up the middle, driving in a run and knotting the game.
Doane (11-3) would take the lead in the third when another two-out single, this one by designated hitter Thomas Frinkman, would be followed by a Jason West triple down the right field line.
The Tigers would turn to the long-ball in the fourth and fifth innings as homers in each frame allowed them to extend their lead to 5-1.
Doane would add their final run in the sixth on a leadoff triple by Austin Tharp, who would advance home on a sacrifice fly-out later in the stanza.
The SLU bats could not catch up to the arm of Doane pitcher Jacob Bartek, who improved his record to 1-1 after pitching six solid innings, allowing just one run on six hits. He would surrender pitching duties to his bullpen of Matt Komenda and Chance Brull, who would combine for nearly three innings of shutout work.
Freshman pitcher Austin Buck (1-3) would be saddled with the Lions’ loss.
Powers and Suarez would be the highlights for Saint Leo in the losing effort as both went 2-for-3 on the evening and Powers managed the Lions’ only RBI. The junior shortstop is now hitting a confererence-best .443 and has a team-leading 39 RBI.
Doane did a good job of spreading their eight hits throughout their lineup as only their rightfielder did not manage a hit in the contest.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Lions as they hit the road to Lakeland, Fla. where the nation’s top team awaits. The Lions will visit Sunshine State Conference foe Florida Southern for a three-game set beginning on Friday night at Henley Field. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.