SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team won their third-straight game on Saturday evening as they pounded out 17 hits en route to a 16-5 win over visiting Clearwater Christian College. It was a win that improves Saint Leo to 7-3 overall while Clearwater falls to 2-11.
"Overall, we did what we were supposed to do; we got some guys in the game," Coach Russ McNickle said. "We've got some areas that we've got to address; especially starting pitching-wise and defensively, but I think offensively we did what we were supposed to do against these two clubs. I'm looking forward to Tuesday afternoon at Warner.
Scoring two runs in the first inning, and carrying a 3-1 lead into the fourth had things looking good for the Lions. It was a swing of the bat by the Cougars' Ethan Barba with two runners on in the top of the fourth inning that surprised the Lion fans when he deposited the ball over the left-field fence. The three-run shot by the shortstop suddenly had the Lions staring at a deficit in the middle innings.
The Lions would respond to the adversity with dominating confidence, spreading seven runs out over the next two frames. Frank Rawdow would own the biggest hit of the fifth inning, blasting a two RBI triple into left-centerfield; while Anthony Santa's two RBI single in the sixth gave Saint Leo a 9-5 lead.
The Lions would leave little doubt when they dropped six runs on the Cougars in the eighth to put the game at its final 16-5 margin.
Santa finished with a career night, going a perfect 4-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. He was one of four Lions, including Brnovich, Zach Miller and Daniel Torres who had multiple hits on the evening.
Starting pitcher Charles Neely (2-1) recovered from the early homer to toss five-plus innings as he struck out nine Cougars and surrendered six hits. Shaun Gough relieved Neely to toss two innings of shutout baseball and provide the Lions a chance to extend their lead.
Saint Leo will now turn its attention toward a Tuesday road contest against Warner University in Lake Wales, Fla. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. For the latest news, information, and updates on Lions' Baseball, visit SaintLeoLions.com.