LAKELAND – Logan Browning hit a two run homer and scattered five hits in 5.0 innings of work as a starting pitcher as Florida Southern held on to defeat Nova Southeastern, 9-7, in game one of a Sunshine State Conference doubleheader here Saturday at Henley Field. Nova Southeastern took game two by a 12-0 score.
After the twinbill split, the Mocccasins' record stands at 28-15 overall and 10-8 in the SSC while Nova Southeastern has a 33-14 mark overall and a 16-5 league record.
Browning (4-3) held the 14th-ranked Sharks to five hits while surrendering four runs (three earned) and striking out three. As his team's designated hitter, Browning capped a five-run second inning for the 17th-ranked Moccasins with his eighth home run of the year.
Nova Southeastern jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI-single by Andres Visbal.
David Lugo led off the Florida Southern second inning with a single up the middle. Two outs later, Shawn Sanders singled to put runners on first and second with both runners scoring on a double by Sam Machonis, who would later score an infield fielding error. Browning then stepped up and cracked his two-round round-tripper for a 5-1 FSC lead.
After the Sharks added a solo run the top of the third, the Moccasins got the run back as Jason Sierra doubled to lead off the bottom of the inning and was sacrificed to third on a bunt by Lugo. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Blake Swann.
Again the Sharks got on the board, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth, and again, the Moccasins answered as Reeves hit a two-run homer of his own, also his eight of the 2016 campaign, to give Florida Southern an 8-4 lead.
Nova Southeastern cut into the lead as Juancarlos Cintron hit a two-run home run in the of the sixth and the Sharks added a solo run in the top of the seventh to pull with-in one, 8-7.
Sanders gave Florida Southern an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when he hit his fourth home run of the season, and then made a fine defensive play with a runner on first in the top of the ninth. The senior second baseman ranged far to his left to snag a grounder off the bat of Michael Hernandez and then made a back-hand flip from almost behind first base to Sierra for the second out of the inning.
In game two, Nova Southeastern's Jake Anchia hit a pair of home runs, while Brandon Gomez singled, double and homered as the Sharks salvaged a split with a 12-0 win.
Florida Southern will now put the student in student-athlete as Florida Southern holds final exams Monday through Wednesday. With the College's graduation on Saturday, May 7, the Moccasins will play next on May 8 at Barry University in Miami Shores with a single game at 6 p.m. The series concludes on May 9 with a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
The Moccasins will close out the regular season on May 13-14 at home against Saint Leo. FSC will recognize its 10 seniors prior to the May 14 doubleheader.