Strong Offense Leads to Three-Game Sweep of Palm Beach Atl.

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team completed the three-game sweep of the visiting Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish, Saturday afternoon from Thomas B. Southard Stadium. After defeating the Sailfish by a 16-10 score in game one of the doubleheader, the Lions returned to pick up a 6-3 victory in game two.

The first contest began with a Palm Beach Atlantic lead early on. Despite the Sailfish scoring in the top of the first, however, the Lions retaliated in the bottom of the inning to score three runs and take a 3-1 lead.

After a scoreless second, both teams picked up another run in the fourth inning to put the score at 4-2 in favor of Saint Leo.

The top of the fourth inning saw the Sailfish offense explode for five runs, thanks to a bases-clearing triple and a handful of Saint Leo mistakes. Although the Lions tacked on a run in the bottom of the fourth, Palm Beach Atlantic maintained a 7-5 lead until the sixth, when they scored two more runs.

In the bottom of the inning, however, the Lions picked up four runs off an RBI single from Taylor Perez and a three-run homerun from sophomore Cole Stancil.

With the score tied at 9-9, the Sailfish earned another run in the seventh to take back the lead, but the Saint Leo squad refused defeat. A grand slam from junior Bobby Twitty as well as two back-to-back singles from Nick Perez and Taylor Perez earned the Lions seven runs in the bottom of the eighth, allowing Saint Leo to force a 16-10 victory.

Tossing two innings, senior lefty Brandon Terry earned the win in the effort. He struck out three and improved to 2-1 on the season with the victory.

The pitching staff, represented by Kevin Games, Tyrone Miller, Ethan Lichtenberg, and Terry, allowed five earned runs on 11 hits and six strikeouts in the contest.

After a short break, the Lions' squad returned for the final game of the series, a seven-inning battle in which Saint Leo took home a 6-3 victory for the three-game sweep.

Senior Ryan Sadler took the mound for the Lions in the triumph, tossing 6.1 innings and allowing six hits with nine strikeouts. Senior Brandon Terry also came in during the seventh inning for relief duties, picking up the save.

The Sailfish again struck first in the contest, picking up the first run of the game in the third inning on back-to-back singles and smart base running. After picking up another run in the fourth on a homerun, the Sailfish led Saint Leo by a 2-0 score.

Forcing a rally in the bottom of the fourth, the Lions earned three runs to take the lead when Fran Whitten scored on a dropped-third strike to Alex Mata. After the Sailfish walked in another run, a single from junior Nick Perez finished off the three-run inning.

Though the Sailfish tied the score at 3-all in the top of the fifth, hits from Bobby Twitty, Dylan Harris, and Alex Mata plated three more runs to give the Lions the defining 6-3 lead and later, the victory.

As a team, Saint Leo tallied 22 hits on the afternoon, recording three stolen bases and 13 walks. The squad picked up six extra-base hits, thanks in large part to two homeruns from Cole Stancil and a grand slam from Bobby Twitty.

The Lions will return to action on Wednesday, March 5 when they host the visiting St. Anslem Hawks. First pitch for the non-regional contest is set for 6:00 p.m.

For more on the Saint Leo baseball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' Saint Let Athletics on Twitter and Instagram.