FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After their late-inning loss on Friday night, the Saint Leo baseball team fell victim to one big inning in both losses as the Lions were swept by Nova Southeastern 9-2 and 14-4 in Sunshine State Conference doubleheader action on Saturday afternoon at the NSU Baseball Complex.
Both games panned out in very similar ways as SLU pitching kept the Lions close during the early innings.
In game one, the host Sharks held a 2-0 lead on the Lions as the game headed into the sixth inning. In that frame SLU saw centerfielder Ware Hart connect on the first pitch of his at bat and launch it over the left field fence to cut the NSU lead to 2-1.
Nova would respond in the bottom of the seventh to put their first six batters on base as they scored four runs in the inning and chased starting pitcher Aaron Brandt as NSU slotted the game away with a 6-1 lead and allowed the Lions only six outs to respond.
The Lions were unable to respond as the Sharks plated three more runs to take the opening game win.
Game two was more frustrating for Saint Leo as the Green & Gold held a brief 2-1 lead early in the game, taking advantage of a wild pitch and a bases loaded walk to take the lead.
The Sharks would plate a run in the bottom of the inning to knot the score and then add three in the bottom of the third to retake the 5-2 lead.
The Lions would respond in the fourth with two runs when J.C. Suarez singled through the right side with the bases loaded to score Jack Daru and Ryan Brnovich to draw within one.
The game would head into the bottom of the sixth with the same 5-4 margin before the SLU bullpen fell apart, surrendering nine runs in the frame and putting any chance of a seventh-inning rally to bed.
Aaron Brandt (5-3) and Jamie Tutko (0-2) found themselves as the pitchers of record in the doubleheader losses.
Brnovich would go a combined 3-for-8 and Hart went 2-for-8 with a triple, the game one homer and two RBI.
The Lions would leave 18 batters on base in 16 innings for the intangible stat of the day.
Saint Leo will now host Florida Memorial in doubleheader action on Tuesday afternoon at Thomas B. Southard Stadium. The first game is scheduled to get underway at 4:00 p.m.