WINTER PARK, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team split their final double-dip of the 2011 season against Rollins College, winning the first game 13-8 but dropping the series and season finale 3-2 in eight innings on Saturday afternoon from Alfond Stadium. The win, teamed with last night’s 7-5 triumph gives Saint Leo their second-straight Sunshine State Conference series win in as many weeks.
In game one Saint Leo (19-30, 7-17 SSC) responded from 7-5 deficit to score eight runs in a deciding eighth inning that game the Lions the win. It was an inning that SLU sent 12 batters to the plate and rattled off four hits and were the recipients of four free passes from the Rollins pitching staff.
It turned out to be a thrilling opening game for fans of run-scoring baseball as both teams sent three pitchers to the mound and combined for 21 runs and 22 hits. The Lions were also able to overcome two errors to take the game.
Reliever Rick Teasley (3-3) managed to come in with the Tars holding the two-run lead and keep the hosts off the board for almost three innings, opening the door for the Saint Leo comeback.
Three Lions picked up multiple hits off the Tars with first baseman Anthony Santa going 3-for-5, while Chris Newcomb with 2-for-2 and Frank Rawdow went 2-for-5.
Game two was a duel as the fans were treated to some free baseball in the final game of the season.
Rollins (27-23, 6-15 SSC) held a one-run lead through five innings, but gave up a late run in the sixth. SLU third baseman Kory Wan evened the score at two runs apiece on a sacrifice fly after reaching on a double and advancing to third on a passed ball.
SLU put up another threat in the seventh, placing two on base as lead-off batter Jason Hamm singled up the middle. Rollins pitching would retire the next two batters, but gave up another hit to put runners on the corners. The Tars' defense then backed up White on the next batter as Rollins retired the inning on a groundout.
Kevin Mager, leading off in the bottom of the frame, started things off for Rollins reaching on a double on a 1-2 pitch. He then took third on a sacrifice bunt and then watched as the Lions intentionally walked the next batter. With runners on the corners, Rollins’ Greg Smith flied out to center scoring Mager for the home team’s win.
In his final game for the Lions, catcher Jason Hamm went 2-for-3, while Matt Smith (0-1) pitched a complete game, going 7.2 innings but picking up the loss.