Baseball drops opener in five-game slate with Rollins

Baseball drops opener in five-game slate with Rollins

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Rollins College scored 10 runs on 15 hits and upended Saint Leo baseball, 10-4, in a non-conference contest on Wednesday afternoon at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.

The game was the first of five straight between the Lions and the Tars over a four-day span; the two teams will square off again on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at Southard Stadium in another non-conference affair. The series will then switch to Winter Park, where Rollins will host Saint Leo in a three-game Sunshine State Conference series on Friday and Saturday.

Saint Leo held a 2-1 lead over the visiting Tars after three complete innings, after a single Lion run in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Brett Coffel got aboard with a two-out single up the middle, advanced to third on a base hit by senior Alex Mata, and eventually crossed on a Rollins fielding error on Shane Williams' grounder to short.

A three-run uprising by Rollins in the top of the fourth, keyed by Mike Dolan's two-run home run to left field, gave the Tars a 4-2 advantage. Single runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings extended Rollins' lead to 6-2. Saint Leo got one of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy redshirt sophomore Derek Gibree's single through the left side that plated senior Mike Mann.

The Tars put up three runs on four hits in the seventh, including two runs that crossed on Grant Ashline's double down the left field line, giving Rollins a 9-3 advantage. Saint Leo's final run came in the bottom of the seventh on Zach Scott's double down the left field line, scoring Chase Turner. Turner reached earlier in the frame on a base hit into left field.

Mata, Mann, Scott, and Gibree each finished with two hits for the Lions. Starter Blake Bodin charted three strikeouts over his 4 2/3 innings on the mound, but he was charged with the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on nine hits.

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