AIKEN, SC – After seeing his team score just a pair of runs on six hits in the first two games at South Carolina-Aiken, head coach Lance Niekro decided to switch up his line-up for game three and the payoff was a season-high tying total for runs scored in a 17-8 win over the host Pacers Sunday here at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
Eight of the Moccasins' starting line-up scored at least one run with five players scoring twice and Logan Browning, who dropped to the fifth spot in the line-up from lead-off spot, responding with a team-high three runs scored. Browning, who started the game on the mound for the Moccasins and as the team's designated hitter, also knocked in a pair of runs.
Kevin Fuller led the Moccasin attack, coming a home run short of hitting for the cycle, while driving in a team season-high six runs. Fuller had a RBI-single in the second, a bases-loaded triple in the third, walked with the bases loaded in the fourth and a run-scoring double in the fifth.
Ryan Frost, who batted lead-off for the Moccasins, collected a pair of hits and drove in four runs, while Dominic Brugnoni, batting out of the seventh hole, had three base hits and and drove in two runs. Pablo Cabrera, hitting in the ninth spot, hit a two-run homer in the third inning. It was the first round-tripper of the season for the freshman shortstop.
Florida Southern (26-10) put a run across in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Browning and added two runs in the second as Brugnoni led off with a double and scored on a single by Fuller, who would come round and score on a single by Frost.
The Moccasins would add four runs in the third on just two hits – Fuller's three-run triple and Cabrera's two-run homer – to take an 8-3 lead and then tacked on four more runs in the fourth on three hits. FSC put up another four spot in the fifth on just two hits. The Moccasins' final run came in the sixth on a RBI-single by Brugnoni.
Brugnoni and Fuller each had three hits and combined for eight runs batted in out the seven and eight spots in the line-up while Mitch Reeves also added three hits from the clean-up slot.
Tyler Knowles picked up the win for the Moccasins, tossing two shutout innings in relief of Browning, to improve to 3-0, while Mitch McCarthy earns his first save with three innings on relief work, holding the Pacers to one hit on one run with four strikeouts.
Florida Southern returns to Sunshine State Conference action on Friday and Saturday at 5th-ranked Tampa with a single game at 6 p.m. on Friday and a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m.