LAKELAND – Logan Browning struck out eight in 6.0 shutout innings and went 3-for-3 at the plate in game one while Sam Machonis collected two singles, a double, and a triple in game two, as Florida Southern swept Claflin (2-6) on Saturday, 17-0, and 12-5, to take a three-game series from the Panthers.
In game one, Browning allowed a lead-off double to Jesse Minter and then retired the next seven batters in order before Elliott Melton reached on an error. Browning then set down the next four batters before Michael Kendricks led off the fifth inning with a triple. The sophomore lefty from Lakeland then struck out two more batters and got the final to ground out to third to strand the runner on third.
At the plate, Browning singled in the second, third, and fourth innings, stealing a base in the third and driving in a run in the fourth. On the mound, he allowed just one walk in picking up his first win.
Florida Southern, 6-2 on the year and winners of four straight, scored in every inning but the eighth frame. Mitch Reeves led the Moccasins' 16-hit attack with a 4-for-4 game with three runs scored and two more driven in, doubling in his final two at bats.
The Moccasins took advantage of wildness on the part of Panther starter Wendell Ferguson (0-2), combining a single by Machonis with two wild pitches, a hit batter, and an infield ground out for two runs in the first before Brugnoni homered for a 3-0 lead.
Florida Southern then added three runs in the second on two singles, four walks and another hit batter. Lugo provided the only scoring in the third with his first homer of the year over the right field wall.
In the fourth, the Moccasins scored five times on a lead-off single by Reeves, three more walks, Cabrera's 3-run double to right centerfield, and a run-scoring single by Browning. Back-to-back doubles by Reeves and Jason Sierra in the fifth accounted for another FSC run while a Reeves' RBI double in the sixth pushed the score to 14-0. The final tally came in the seventh as Mocs head coach Lance Niekro set five consecutive pinch hitters to the plate with Zach Richardson, Tommy Georgevich, and Ryan Frost each singling, and Paul Bretton, Jr. and Garrett Conner reaching via walks.
Game two was a little closer. Minter led off the game with a homer to tight field off starter Cameron Hanes (1-2), who recovered with back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout.
Florida Southern got the run back in the bottom of the frame on singles by Machonis – the first of four hits in four at bats for the senior centerfielder – and Sierra with Sierra scoring on a bases-loaded walk. The Moccasins added three runs in the next inning highlighted by a RBI-triple by Machonis who added a run-scoring double in the third.
Triples by Browning and Sierra and singles from Machonis, Brugnoni and Shawn Sanders allowed the Mocs to score three run in the fifth. Walker Burgess capped the scoring for FSC with a two-run double in the sixth.
Machonis finished with a 4-for-5 night with three runs scored and three runs batted in while Sierra and Brugnoni each added three hits for Florida Southern which had 15 hits in game two and 47 hits over the three-game series.
Florida Southern plays next weekend at 11th-ranked Mount Olive in North Carolina with a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.