LAKELAND, Fla. – After getting rained out Wednesday, the Saint Leo baseball team defeated the Southeastern University Fire by an 11-1 score Thursday evening from Ted A. Broer Stadium on the campus of Southeastern. The victory marked the Lions' eighth consecutive win.
Junior Tyrone Miller got the start for the Lions in the midweek contest, tossing 3 innings and allowing two hits before junior Jordan Taylor came in for a two inning appearance. Seniors Ryan Sadler and Brandon Terry also appeared, tossing a combined 3.2 innings and allowing three hits. Freshman Daniel Twitty closed out the Lions game, allowing no runs on no hits. The pitching staff allowed just seven hits on the day, walking four. The squad struck out thirteen batters for a season high.
The Lions took an early lead, scoring five runs in the first inning to take a 5-0 lead. It was junior Nick Perez who jumpstarted the inning with a single through the left side, followed by a bunt single from Michael Callahan to give the Lions two early base runners. After a walk to Fran Whitten loaded the bases, freshman clean-up hitter Alex Mata sent a hard hit single to the shortstop to score N. Perez and earn the first run of the game. With no outs and the bases still loaded, freshman Dylan Harris then ripped a double down the left-field line that scored two more and forced a 3-0 lead. Two RBI groundouts tacked on another two runs, the Lions cruised to the bottom of the inning with a five-run lead.
The Lions tacked on two more runs in the top of the third inning as well, thanks to a Southeastern wild pitch that scored Whitten, followed by a bases-loaded walk to Dieter Hamilton.
After holding the Fire scoreless for the next two innings, the Lions picked up another run in the top of the sixth on an RBI double from Mata.
The Fire finally took to the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, when a single and an RBI sac fly pushed Southeastern Aaron Sheaks across the board.
Saint Leo responded in the top of the ninth inning, when Zach Sabo sent an RBI single through the left side. Two plays later, junior Kevin Games crossed home plate on two Southeastern error, and one out later, a triple from Nick Perez scored Dieter Hamilton to give the Lions an 11-1 lead.
As a team, the Saint Leo squad picked up 13 hits on the day, walking seven times and tallying 3 extra-base hits.
The Lions will return to action on Friday, April 11 when they host the visiting Rollins College Tars in Sunshine State Conference action. First pitch of the single game is set for 6:00 p.m.
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