SAINT LEO, Fla. – Despite trying to change things up a bit, the Saint Leo baseball team could not overcome two 5-run innings from the visiting Barry Buccaneers as the Lions dropped the opening game of the Sunshine State Conference series with the Bucs 13-7 on a clear Friday night at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.
Donning their gold jerseys for the first time in two years, luck was not on the Lions’ side as starting pitcher Matt Smith could not get in a groove to start the game, giving up five runs to the Buccaneers before SLU had a chance to bat.
Leading off the game with a single, Barry (20-7, 5-2 SSC) pounded out four hits in the first frame, jumping out to a lead that the Lions could not respond to.
After posting a couple of scoreless inning, the Lions finally cracked the scoreboard for three runs in the third as three-straight hits led off the frame. Blake Turner delievered the Lions’ biggest hit of the frame as he roped a two-RBI single up the middle, cutting the Barry lead to 5-3.
Another five-run frame was in store for the Bucs in the fifth as the BU bat caught fire. That inning saw the visitors from Miami Shores hit three homers to take a commanding 10-3 lead.
The Lions would manage to plate four runs in the late innings, but it would not be enough as the Bucs claimed the first game of the series.
J.C. Suarez was the Lions’ best performer as he went 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored in the losing effort.
The Bucs saw six of their nine batters post multiple hits as Barry racked up 15 hits in the win.
Smith (4-5) picked up the Lions’ loss as he went five innings and surrendered 10 runs on 10 hits.
The Lions and Bucs will continue their Sunshine State Conference series tomorrow as they will get the first game of a doubleheader underway at 1:00 p.m. at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.