Baseball upended by Sharks in SSC series opener

Baseball upended by Sharks in SSC series opener

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Defending national champion Nova Southeastern posted two runs in each of the final four innings, upending Saint Leo baseball, 14-7, in the first game of the teams' three-game Sunshine State Conference series on Friday at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.

Saint Leo and no. 18 Nova Southeastern will conclude the series on Saturday, March 25, with a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m.

The Lions (14-12, 2-5 SSC) kept pace with the Sharks (18-10, 6-4 SSC) in the early going, and were tied with Nova Southeastern, 6-6, after five innings.

Saint Leo put two runs on the board in the fourth, cutting NSU's lead to 5-4, when Zach Scott doubled home Mike Mann from firs and then crossed later in the frame on a wild pitch. After a single Shark run in the top of the fifth, the Lions added two more runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. An RBI triple to left-center off the bat of Chase Turner and Mann's grounder to second drove in the two runs, knotting the game at 6-6.

Nova Southeastern took an 8-6 lead in the top of the sixth on Jake Anchia's two-run home run to left field. The Lions answered with one run in the bottom of the inning when Shane Williams singled in Dylan Harris on a hit to right-center.

From there, the Sharks posted two runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, on their way to the conference win.

Saint Leo amassed 14 hits off Nova Southeastern pitching – only one less hit than the Sharks.

Williams paced the Lions with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate including a double and an RBI, while Harris, Turner, Mann, and Brett Coffel each had two hits.

Saint Leo starter Tyler Bauman scattered six hits over his four complete innings of work, fanning three Shark batters while allowing five runs, four earned. Reliever Blake Bodin was charged with the loss after coming on in the fifth inning and allowing four runs over 2 1/3 innings pitched.

Nova Southeastern tallied 15 hits on the night, with Anchia finishing 4-for-5 at the plate with four RBI. Sebastian Diaz charted three hits and three runs scored, and Kevin Suarez had two hits. Shark starter Matt Hardy picked up the win; he yielded six runs, five earned, on eight hits and three walks over five complete innings.

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