SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball (16-26) team defeated the PBA Sailfish, 7-5 in the first game of the day, before dropping the second game 8-5 in ten innings, Saturday afternoon from Thomas B. Southard Stadium. The split gave PBA the series win.
The Lions top performer was Eugene Garnett Jr. who went 4-for-9 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. Jovanni Fiallo also had a solid night, contributing four singles and a run scored.
Early in game one, Palm Beach Atlantic’s (14-16) Vasilios Mila’s two-RBI single to centerfield gave the Sailfish a two-run lead in the top of the third. The Lions answered PBA’s call in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single by Garnett Jr.
Third Baseman Luis Mejia hit a two-run blast in the top of the fourth to increase the Sailfish lead to three, 4-1.
However, the Lions took the lead for the first time with a four run fifth inning. An RBI double by Garnett started the scoring, and was followed by an RBI single by Suarez, and a two-run homer to left field by Dustin Brown.
The Lions never looked back as they scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win. SLU got a solid pitching performance by starter Aaron Brandt (5-2) and reliever Matt Smith. Brandt tossed six innings, surrendering four runs while allowing seven hits and striking out three to claim the win. Smith made an appearance in relief tossing three innings, allowing one run on one hit, to pick up his first save of the season.
Garnett and Brown combined for five of the Lions 12 hits while driving in four of the seven runs. Suarez and Brnovich platted two, while scoring on a pair of occasions.
In game two, sophomore Cody Johnson tossed three scoreless innings before allowing a solo home run in the top of the fourth to give the Sailfish the lead. The Lions rallied back in the fifth with back-to-back doubles by Brnovich and Suarez to tie the game at three.
The tie held strong and the game was sent to extra innings still tied at three apiece. PBA broke the tie in the top of the ninth with a two RBI single by Mila. The Lions answered right back with a two-run home run by Garnett Jr., his seventh of the year, to tie the game at five.
However, a two run triple by Dion Pouncil broke the tie and an error gave the Sailfish an 8-5 lead in the tenth inning. The Lions were unable to score in the bottom of the 10th as they drop the game.
Lions will take the field again on Tuesday, April 13 at Thomas B. Southard Stadium, against No. 5 Florida Southern, first pitch set for 6 p.m.