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Mocs Hit Three Homers to Crush Claflin 16-6

Sam Machonis
Sam Machonis

LAKELAND - Sam Machonis, Shawn Sanders, and Jason Sierra each homered while Dominic Brugnoni tripled twice an scored four times as Florida Southern cruised past Claflin, 16-6, here Friday at Henley Field. 

The 14-hit attack by the Moccasins backed a fine pitching performance from Moccasin starter Ben Richardson, who worked 6.0 innings, striking out seven Claflin batters while hold the Panthers to two runs on a pair of hits. 

Logan Browning doubled to lead off the game for the Moccasins, who improved to 4-2. Machonis then followed with his first home run of the season. Two outs later, Sanders slugged his first round tripper for a 3-0 Florida Southern lead.

After adding a solo run in the second, Florida Southern scored four times in the third, starting with a homer by Sierra to lead off the frame. Brugnoni then hit the first of his two triples in the contest and scored on a wild pitch. One one out later, Scottie Withrow singled. Evan Barnes then hit a squibber back to the pitcher, who fielded the ball and threw the ball into right field, allowing Withrow to score and Barnes to advance to second base. One out later, Pablo Cabrera double to plate Barnes for a 8-0 Florida Southern lead.

Claflin, 2-5, got on the board in the fourth when Jabari Brown drew a lead-off walk off Machonis and Michael Kendricks followed with a single. Machonis got a double-play ball from Rashad Bivens, but Reginald Rogers singled up the middle for the Panthers first run.

Florida Southern answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame combining three straight walks with a single by Evans Barnes and a groundout by Ryan Frost for a 10-1 lead. Claflin would push another run across in the fifth on two walks and a wild pitch.

The Moccasins continued their onslaught in the bottom of the fifth as Browning collected his second double followed by a RBI-single from Machonis. One out later, Brugnoni hit his second triple and the scored the third of his four runs on a sacrifice fly by Sanders.

Claflin knocked out four singles for a pair of runs in the seventh while Florida Southern pushed across three more runs in the bottom of the eighth on a single from Tommy Georgevich and two-run double by Frost. Machonis pushed across his fourth RBI of the game, drawing a bases loaded walk.

The Panthers got their final two runs in the ninth on a ground rule double by Bivens and a infield ground out.

Moccasin head coach Lance Niekro substituted liberally in the game as 14 different players saw action with 10 collecting at least one hit and 10 scoring at least one run. 

The same two teams play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 pm at Henley Field.