Lions Rally for 5-4 Victory over UNG in 11-Inning Thriller
DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Saint Leo Lions (3-0) completed the three game sweep over the North Georgia Nighthawks (0-3) Sunday afternoon by a score of 5-4. The win improved the Lions' record to a perfect 3-0 to start off the 2014 season.
Senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Sadler took the mound for the Lions in his first appearance since February 21, 2012. Sadler cruised through his first three innings, allowing just one hit before giving up a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth inning. Tyrone Miller came in to relieve Sadler and completed three and one-third innings without allowing a run. Senior Brandon Terry closed out the game to earn his first win and close the door on the Nighthawks' offense.
It didn't take the Lions' offense long to get on the scoredboard as junior newcomer Nick Perez led off the game with a double and senior Chris Newcomb followed with a screaming double down the left field line to score Perez. The hit parade continued in the second inning as Harris and sophomore Taylor Perez led off with back to back singles. Junior catcher Dale Irving and freshman Alex Mata later drove in Harris and Perez to extend the lead to 3-0.
Though the Nigthhawks picked up two runs each in the fourth and fifth innings, the Lions' offense was silenced until the eighth inning. It was junior Kevin Games who led off the eighth with a walk, and Harris reached on a throwing error to give the Lions some momentum. After Taylor Perez drew a walk to load the bases, a sac fly from Irving scored Games to tie the score at 4-4.
The Lions took the lead in the top of the eleventh when Alex Mata led off the inning with a double to deep right-center. Shortly after, Nick Perez, who batted .706 for the weekend, singled to score Mata and give the Lions back the lead.
In the bottom of the eleventh inning, senior lefty Brandon Terry came back out to the mound and brought the victory, en route to his first win of the year.
As a team, the Lions earned nine hits and five walks in the effort.
The pitching staff, composed of Sadler, Miller, and Terry, combined for four strikeouts on the afternoon. They allowed just six hits.
The Lions will return to action Wednesday night in their home opener against Johnson University at 6:00 PM.
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