MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team dropped both ends of a Saturday doubleheader as they got their final Sunshine State Conference away series of the 2010 season underway with twin setbacks to host Florida Tech.
Florida Tech took game one 5-1 as starting Tech pitcher Jonathan Cornelius issued a career-high 15 strikeouts and then it took an extra inning for the Panthers to top the Lions 6-5 in the nightcap as FIT improves to 37-13 overall, a new school record for wins, and 13-10 in conference action.
It appeared as if the home team was about to post back-to-back 5-1 decisions, but the visiting Lions (17-32, 4-16) notched a two-out, four-run rally in the seventh inning of game two and the hosts couldn’t respond, so the contest went to extras. Saint Leo had one aboard and one away in the top of the eighth; however, Brandon Lindquist got third baseman Taylor McGillis to line into a double play to end the inning for SLU.
Consecutive walks with one out gave the Panthers some life in the bottom half of the frame and then Tony Moos singled through the left side to load the bags for Michael Demma. The senior hit a hard chopper right into the path of McGillis who was able to throw JD Davidson out at the dish to keep things even. Next it was Brian Flynn stepping to the plate with the bases still juiced. The catcher remained patient and it paid off as he stared down the 3-1 pitch that sailed inside for ball four and the winning run as Chris Fox advanced for the win.
The two teams moved through game one fairly swiftly, much to the credit of Cornelius. The Lions had just five base-runners in the affair and were scoreless until Eugene Garnett, Jr., crushed a ball over the left field fence with one away in the top of the ninth to avoid the shutout. Otherwise, the Panther lefty was near flawless, giving up three other hits and walking just one with the record-15 Ks through a complete nine innings.
Florida Tech and Saint Leo resume the series at noon on Sunday out at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.