Baseball splits SSC twinbill with Florida Tech

Baseball splits SSC twinbill with Florida Tech

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo baseball got some big innings on its way to an 11-5 victory in game one before falling 17-5 in game two and taking a split out of its Sunshine State Conference doubleheader on Saturday at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.

GAME 1

Saint Leo generated three runs on five hits in the second inning to jump out to a 3-1 lead after two innings. A four-run uprising in the sixth extended that lead to 7-2, with Alex Mata plating two of the Lions' runs on a two-out double down the right field line.

Florida Tech plated three runs in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 7-5, but Saint Leo responded with three of its own in the bottom of the frame to extend its lead to 10-5. Dylan Harris keyed the Saint Leo seventh with a two-out single into left field, allowing Mike Mann and Derek Gibree to cross.

Nick Boland crushed a home run over the right field foul pole in the eighth inning, stretching Saint Leo's lead to the final 11-5 margin.

Saint Leo finished the game with 17 hits, the most the Lions have produced over the last 10 games. Harris finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate with four runs batted in, while Chase Turner also went 3-for-5. Mata and Gibree each recorded a pair of RBI. Saint Leo's Jordan Pendleton picked up his fifth win of the season with his 6 2/3 inning start, fanning five Panther batters. Zach Whitaker logged his seventh save of the year after coming on in the seventh and successfully guiding through a one-hit eighth inning and a three-up, three-down ninth.

Dan Szpik and Ryan Sinzenich each charted a pair of hits for Florida Tech, while Szpik finished with four RBI.

GAME 2

Florida Tech took advantage of five hits, including three home runs, and a pair of Saint Leo errors in the first inning to grab an early 6-0 lead.

Saint Leo cut the margin in half with a three-run third inning, keyed by a Zach Scott two-run double, but the Lions were unable to get any more runs across after a bases loaded strikeout.

After a single run in the fourth to extend their lead to 7-3, the Panthers put up five more runs in the sixth, two more in the seventh, and three more in the eighth to take command of the game.

The Lions continued to swing the bat well in game two and tallied 14 hits, led by Mata with three singles. Gibree, Brett Coffel, and Lane Stancil each had a pair of singles, while Scott and Shane Williams logged two RBI.

Six different pitchers took the mound for Saint Leo in game two, with starter Blake Bodin taking the loss after allowing seven runs, six earned, over four innings.

Florida Tech finished game two with 18 hits, including six home runs that accounted for nine RBI. Grant McKown hit two of those homers in the first and fourth innings, both solo shots.

Saint Leo will travel to St. Petersburg, Fla., to face Eckerd College in a three-game SSC series on April 27 and 28. The teams will play a Thursday-Friday series due to Commencement exercises at Saint Leo on Saturday, April 29.

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