Krauss and O'Sullivan toss complete games while Stancil earns the walkoff win in game 2
SAINT LEO, Fla. – After defeating the Eckerd College Tritons Friday night in Sunshine State Conference action, the Lions returned to Thomas B. Southard Saturday afternoon to upend the Tritons in both games of the afternoon doubleheader and take home the series sweep. Both Liam O'Sullivan and Brent Krauss tossed complete games in the effort, improving the Lions to 23-12 on the year.
Junior righty Liam O'Sullivan took the mound for the Lions in game one, tossing a nine-inning complete game in which he allowed 13 hits and struck out eight. He walked none in the outing, and the victory marked his second complete game effort this season.
Offensively, the Tritons struck first in the contest, rallying for four hits and three earned runs in the top of the second inning.
It was sophomore Cole Stancil, however, who blasted a three-run homer over the left-centerfield fence in the bottom of the inning to tie the score at 3-3.
After holding the Tritons scoreless in the top of the third, the Lions took the determining lead in the bottom of the inning, thanks to an RBI double from Dale Irving that scored Stancil and Jordan Taylor.
Extending their lead in the bottom of the fourth, the Lions scored two more runs to go ahead by four. Senior Fran Whitten jumpstarted the inning with a leadoff walk, and sophomore Alex Mata followed suit with a single down the leftfield line. With two runners on base, freshman Dylan Harris picked up a big RBI single up the middle that scored both Whitten and Mata, forcing a 7-3 lead in favor of Saint Leo.
A two-out solo homerun from Jordan Taylor in the bottom of the sixth pushed the Lions' lead to 8-3, but in true Saint Leo fashion, the Lions were not finished.
Refusing to quit, the squad rallied for three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Taylor led off with a one-out walk and freshman Zach Daley went in to pinch run, Irving sent a two-run homer to the scoreboard in left-centerfield to put the Lions up by seven. After senior Chris Newcomb tripled to right-centerfield, an RBI groundout from Taylor Perez pushed the Lions' lead to 11-3.
Holding the Tritons scoreless in the top of the ninth, the Lions' earned an 11-3 victory, improving to 22-12 on the season.
After a short break, the Tritons and Lions returned to action for game three of the Sunshine state Conference series.
It was senior righty Brent Krauss who took the mound for the Lions in the second game of the doubleheader, hoping to earn the coveted three-game sweep. The senior tossed seven innings en route to a complete-game shutout, striking out six and allowing just three hits in 25 batters faced.
Both teams went scoreless for the first six innings, but the Lions jumped on the board in the bottom of the seventh, when Saint Leo earned the walkoff win on an RBI single from Cole Stancil.
The inning began when freshman Alex Mata picked up a one-out single, and freshman Dylan Harris followed his lead with a double down the left-field line. After an intentional walk to Bobby Twitty loaded the bases, it was Stancil who blasted an RBI single to right-centerfield, forcing a win and a series sweep of the Tritons.
As a team that has earned the second-best batting average in the Sunshine State Conference, the Lions rallied for 21 hits on the day, walking eight times and picking up six extra-base hits.
The victory signaled the Lions' sixth-consecutive Sunshine State Conference win, and their seventh-straight victory. In addition, the triumph marked the third-straight complete game from the Lions' pitching staff.
Saint Leo is set to return to action on Tuesday, April 8, when the Lions head to Lakeland, Fla. for a non-regional matchup against Southeastern. First pitch of the single game 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 Leo Athletics on Twitter and Instagram.