SAINT LEO, Fla. – It was a great way to open the season as the Saint Leo baseball team exploded for 19 runs, 24 hits and even hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the Lions’ 19-6 victory over Valdosta State at Thomas B. Southard Stadium on Friday night.
After a scoreless first inning, the Lions got on the scoreboard in a big way in the second. Junior Dustin Brown took the first pitch he saw this season and deposited it over the left-field wall, giving the Lions the lead. Next up to bat, Myron Kirchner turned on the third pitch of his at-bat and lined it over the left-field fence. Not done yet, junior Anthony Santa took the first pitch he saw of his first at bat in almost two years and blasted it out of left field as well. It was a series that would fire up the Lions as their bats remained hot for the remainder of the game.
Inning number three saw the home run power give way to singles and doubles as the Lions pounded out nine hits and scored eight runs to open up the game.
Getting the start, junior Aaron Brandt kept the visiting Blazers off the scoreboard through all of his five innings of work. Only allowing two hits, Saint Leo’s opening night starter proved his worth and set the bar for the SLU pitching staff for the season.
“Aaron came in and did a great job keeping Valdosta State off the bases,” Head Coach Russ McNickle said. “His work on the mound allowed our offense the opportunity to make a statement. It was a team effort that gave us this win, and it will be the same effort we will need all season.”
In his first game with the Lions, transfer Frank Rawdow went 4-for-6 with an RBI, included in his four-hit night was two shots in that eight-run third inning. Four Lions had a three-hit game with Kirchner going 3-for-4 with three RBI and senior Ryan Powers going 3-for-5 with three RBI as well.
For the visitors, Bobby Triglia came off the bench to go 3-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI.
Both teams will square off again tomorrow in doubleheader action from Southard Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.