SAINT LEO, Fla. – Backed by a run in nearly every inning, the Saint Leo baseball team defeated the visiting Saint Anselm Hawks by a 17-2 score, Wednesday night from Thomas B. Southard Stadium. The victory improved the Lions' record to 11-3 on the season.
In keeping with what has become Saint Leo tradition, junior Nick Perez jumpstarted the offensive attack for the green and gold, registering a double to centerfield to lead off the bottom of the first. Another double from sophomore Taylor Perez then scored N. Perez, and a sacrifice fly from senior Fran Whitten gave the Lions an early two-run lead. After a single, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, freshman Alex Mata sent a sacrifice fly to left field to score sophomore Cole Stancil and force a three-run lead heading into the second.
After another scoreless top half of the inning in the second, a run off an RBI double from T. Perez extended the Lions' lead to four.
The Saint Leo offense exploded in the third, however, when Bobby Twitty, Alex Mata, Nick Perez, and Taylor Perez all recorded hits and the Lions claimed four more runs for an 8-0 lead.
A 1-2-3 top of the fourth led Saint Leo to their fourth round through the batting order in the bottom of the inning, which featured three more runs off an RBI double from Chris Newcomb and two Saint Anselm wild pitches.
With a 13-0 lead in their favor, the Lions allowed a Saint Anselm run in both the top of the sixth and seventh innings, but Saint Leo responded to each with two runs of their own.
At the end of the three hour contest, the Lions took home a 17-2 victory to improve to 11-3 on the year.
Freshman Josh Mollet started on the mound for Saint Leo, tossing four complete innings and allowing just two hits. Brent Krauss, Liam O'Sullivan, and Shaun Adams all made relief appearances as well, combining for three strikeouts and allowing just four hits. Senior Brent Krauss earned the win.
As a team, the Lions recorded hits in the 38 at-bat victory, walking seven times and registering 10 extra-base hits. In addition, the squad tallied six stolen bases. More than 23 Lions appeared in the contest.
The Lions will return to action on Friday and Saturday when they host their first Sunshine State Conference series against No. 1 Tampa. First pitch for game one is set for 6:00 p.m. at Thomas B. Southard Stadium on Friday night.
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