SAINT LEO, Fla. – In their 2014 home opener, the Saint Leo baseball team defeated the visiting Johnson University Suns by a 10-3 score. Freshman starting pitcher Josh Mollet made his debut with the green and gold in the contest, tossing four solid innings and leading the Lions to victory.
The Lions squad jumped on the scoreboard in the second inning, when freshman Alex Mata knocked in junior Nick Perez to claim the first RBI of the evening. After a single from senior Michael Callahan and two errors from the Suns' defense, Mata also scored, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Rallying their offense, the Lions tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third to expand the lead. Sophomore Taylor Perez led off the inning with a double down the leftfield line, and junior Bobby Twitty followed with a sharp single to right field. After a sacrifice flyout from Cole Stancil, a double to the centerfield wall from Fran Whitten, and two more Johnson errors, the Lions plated three more runs and forced a 5-0 lead.
Though the Suns were able to string some hits together and score two runs in the top of the fourth inning, Saint Leo answered back in the bottom of the fourth and scored two more, thanks to two singles and sharp base-running from Nick Perez and Bobby Twitty.
For extra measure, the Lions rallied for three more runs in the bottom of the seventh when Zachary Gary, Troy Seiber, Zachary Elder, Nick Perez, and Taylor Perez combined for two doubles, a single, a hit-by-pitch, and a sacrifice fly. Freshmen Zachary Gary and Zachary Elder both earned their first collegiate hits in the inning.
Johnson scored another run in the eighth, but the 10-3 lead would be enough for Saint Leo/
As a team, the Lions placed 20 different players on the field in the win. The squad earned 14 hits, five walks, and two stolen bases.
The Lions' pitching staff, comprised of Mollet, Jordan Taylor, Brent Krauss, Ethan Lichtenberg, and Shaun Adams, tallied nine strikeouts. Taylor earned the win for the evening, while no relief pitchers allowed any hits.
The Saint Leo baseball team will hope to continue their win streak this weekend when they travel to Alabama to take on Montevallo in a three-day, three-game series. The first pitch of the contest is set for Friday, February 7 at 3:00 p.m.
For more on the Lions' baseball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook and 'Follow' the Saint Leo Lions on Twitter and Instagram.