SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo fell to Lee 3-2 in a tight contest Friday night to open the three-game baseball series between the Lions and Flames at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.
Saint Leo (2-2) held a 2-1 lead heading to the top of the seventh inning before Lee's (4-1) Geremy Walton hit a two-run homer, his second home run of the day, to left field pushing the Flames ahead of the Lions 3-2.
Derek Gibree started the day off on fire with back-to-back singles in his first two plate appearances, coming around to score in the bottom of the third for the Lions' second run of the game. Dylan Harris and Brett Coffel went 2-for-4 from the plate, with one double and a single; Coffel scored the Lions' first run in the third inning. Chase Turner would be credited with the Lions lone RBI of the night when he reached on a fielder's choice scoring Coffel.
On the mound, Oscar Gordillo pitched 6.2 innings allowing eight hits, three runs, and one walk, while striking out eight of the 29 batters faced. Dan Twitty came in for relief in the middle of the seventh to pitch 2.1 innings allowing just two hits with one walk while striking out four of 10 batters faced.
The Lions would get runners in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth but failed to cross the plate as Coffel was waved around third, with one out, on a ball through the right side. Saint Leo would get one base runner in the final three innings of the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, trailing 3-2, Coffel started the inning off with a deep fly ball to right field but would be retired by Lee's Zack Zyburt. Stepping to the plate next was Lane Stancil who emptied the dugout as he lifted one to left field, but the Flames' Spencer Mossburg caught the ball at the warning track to give the Lions two outs. In a pinch hit appearance, A.J. Rainaldi would strike out swinging to retire the side and end the game.
For Lee, Geremy Walton went 3-for-4 from the plate with two runs scored, three RBI, one walk and a strikeout while hitting two home runs on the night. Nathan Wierzgac finished the night 3-for-4 as well. Jay Prior, who entered in the middle of the sixth, picked up his first win of the year after pitching 2.1 innings with one hit. Kit Larson entered in the bottom of the ninth and earned the save, retiring the side in order with one strikeout.
Saint Leo and Lee will face off tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 11 with a doubleheader at 1:00 p.m. at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.
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