SAINT LEO, Fla. – A 3-for-4 effort from Saint Leo first baseman Anthony Santa helped propel the Lions to a 6-4 win over visiting Columbus State in baseball action on Sunday afternoon from Thomas B. Southard Stadium.  The win gave the Lions the series win over the visiting 11th-ranked Cougars after a Saturday split.

A pitcher’s battle early, the only run that crossed the plate in the first four innings was off of a Santa solo home run to left field in the second inning.  Aside from that, starting pitchers Levi Futo and Shaun Gough kept the runs off the scoreboard.

For the Lions, the runs would rack up in the fifth and sixth innings as three singles and a double by Ryan Brnovich pushed three runs across in the fifth.  Two singles alongside another double and an error by the Cougars had the Lions holding a 6-1 lead after six frames were in the books.

Columbus State would fight to make things interesting in the final three innings as they plated two runs in the seventh, Gough’s final inning.  Adam Albers would take the mound to close out the game in the eighth, allowing a Logan Dollar solo home run in that same inning.  But Albers would settle down to sit the Cougars down in order in the ninth, locking up the win and the series victory.

“Playing our first three-game series of the season against the #11 team in country was a great test for us,” head coach Russ McNickle said after his team’s series win. “I’m proud of the way we bounced back to win the series.”  

Including Santa, three Lions posted multiple hits with Ryan Powers and Frank Rawdow each getting two hits and an RBI.

Gough (1-1) tossed seven complete innings, allowing two earned runs and eight hits.  Albers tossed the final two frames to pick up his first save of 2011.

Dollar would highlight the Cougar’s lineup with a 2-for-3 day including his round-tripper.

Futo would fall to 0-2 after being saddled with the loss.  He only managed 4.2 innings, giving up three runs and five hits.

After their series win over Columbus State, the Lions will stay within the friendly confines of Southard Stadium when they welcome Eckerd College for a midweek, non-conference tilt.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday night.