SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team jumpstarted a five-game week with a victory over the visiting No. 8 Valdosta State Blazers, Tuesday night. Six Lions notched RBIs in the 10-4 win.
Junior Kevin Games took the mound for the Lions in the midweek matchup, tossing 4.0 innings and allowing just three runs on seven hits and one strikeout. In the fifth, sophomore Michael Dunnigan came in for relief duties, throwing two innings before freshman Ethan Lichtenberg tossed the eighth and ninth. The pair registered seven strikeouts, allowing five hits and no walks.
The Blazers jumped on the board first, picking up a run in the top of the first inning. The Lions rebounded, however to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning when sophomore Taylor Perez blasted a two-run homerun over the leftfield fence.
After holding off Valdosta in the top of the second, the Saint Leo offense exploded for three more runs. Freshman Zach Gary led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch, and three consecutive singles from Chris Newcomb, Taylor Perez, and Fran Whitten gave the Lions a 4-1 lead. A sacrifice fly from Alex Mata then scored another run, extending the lead to four.
After allowing two runs in the fourth, Saint Leo tallied four more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Alex Mata, Bobby Twitty, Dylan Harris, and Dale Irving all registered base hits in the inning, while Chris Newcomb recorded a sacrifice fly and Zach Daley took first on a walk.
Despite the Blazers picking up one run in the top of the seventh, a Valdosta error in the bottom of the eighth scored another Saint Leo run, giving the Lions a 10-4 lead and eventually, a victory.
The win marks the Lions' ninth regional victory this year, improving their overall record to 12-6.
The Lions will return to action on Wednesday, when they travel to St. Augustine to battle the Flagler College Saints in another regional contest. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.
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