SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo Lions used a two-out rally in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and claim a 3-2 victory over visiting Georgia Southwestern State in regional action at a windy Thomas B. Southard Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Lions (17-8) were deadlocked in a 2-2 ballgame when the visiting Hurricanes plated a single run in the fifth inning. Needing to break the tie, and after Georgia Southwestern worked their way out of multiple Saint Leo scoring situations, the Lions managed to put a runner on base despite two quick outs to start the frame. Brendan Collins extended the inning after a 3-2 single through the right side of the infield and put himself in scoring position on a Hurricane balk. Standing at second, Collins was brought home when Dustin Brown stroked a triple in right-center field that broke the tie.
The eventual game-winner came after the Saint Leo pitching staff had shut down GSW for the majority of the game. With starter Ryan Sadler going a strong six-plus innings, he surrendered pitching duties to Matthew Hewitt after two Georgia Southwestern players reached with just an out on the board in the seventh. Hewitt came in and stifled the visitors from Americus, Ga., working a groundout and a strikeout looking into the frame.
After the Lions took the lead, Austin Buck came in to shut down the Hurricanes in the final inning to earn his second save of the season.
Hewitt (1-0) picked up the win to earn his first decision of 2012.
Collins, scoring the game-winner, went 2-for-4 while Anthony Santa took home the game's batting title, going 3-for-4 as the only hitter on either team to notch three hits.
The two teams will meet again on Wednesday afternoon with a scheduled 4 p.m. start. For the latest news, information, and updates on the baseball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.