WEST PALM BEACH - Austin Mauer hit a pair of home runs and drove in five runs on four hits on the night as 19th-ranked Florida Southern downed Palm Beach Atlantic, 8-5, in the opening game of a three-game series here Friday at Rubin Park. The win is the Moccasins' 15th in a row and pushes their season record to 23-6 while the Sailfish drop their third straight and fall to 20-13.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern scored first as Cody Burgess and Pablo Cabrera hit back-to-back singles to lead off the first inning. Mitch Reeves plated Burgess with a sacrifice fly to right field off Sailfish starter Josh Turner.
- Palm Beach Atlantic tied the game in the bottom of the second as Kyle Simon doubled off center field wall off Moccasin starter Logan Browning to lead off the frame and Andrew Calderone followed with a home run to left field, his seventh of the season.
- The Moccasins grabbed the lead back on the top of the fourth as Jason Sierra and Omar Villaman hit back-to-back singles to start the frame with Sierra scoring on a double to left center by Mauer.
- The Sailfish knotted the game once again in the bottom of the fourth as Simon tripled to left field with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Peter Rivera. Palm Beach Atlantic threatened in the next frame as Eddie Vicinanza hit a lead-off triple but Browning enticed a fly ball to center field and then struck out a batter before giving way to reliever J.T. Hintzen who got Calderone out looking at strike three to strand Vicinanza at third.
- Florida Southern broke the game open with a five-run seventh inning off a pair of Palm Beach Atlantic relievers. Vaun Brown, Burgess, and Cabrera hit consecutive singles to lead off the inning with Brown scoring off reliever Kyle Polaski. One-out later, Sierra was plunked with a pitch to load the bases. Sam Shields came on in relief of Polaski and gave up up a sacrifice fly to Villaman to score Sierra. Mauer then hit his second homer of the game to give Florida Southern a 8-3 lead.
- Palm Beach Atlantic got two of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single by Simon.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern leads the all-time series with Palm Beach Atlantic, 22-6, which includes a 7-3 record in games played in West Palm Beach.
- The 15-game win streak by the Moccasins is the longest since the 2005 team won 18 in a row to start the season which ended in the Florida Southern winning the NCAA Division II National Championship. That team was coached by Pete Meyer, who now serves as the Moccasins director of athletics.
- The Moccasins are 15-0 in March this season and a combined 27-1 in the month over the past two years.
- Mauer's homers were his third and fourth of the season.
- Cabrera's first-inning single runs his hit-streak to nine games in which he is 15x37 for a .405 clip.
- Sierra has hits in 17 of his last 18 games and is 21-for-63 during the stretch for a .333 average in thos 18 games.
- Villaman, who was 3-for-4 in the game, is 17-for-27 his last six games for .630 mark and has hits in 12 of his last 13 games in which he has gone 27-for-54 for a .500 clip.
- Burgess also had three hits while Cabrera and Brown each had two hits.
- Browning struck out five and walked one in 5.2 innings while holding Palm Beach Atlantic to three runs on four hits. Hintzen picks up his first collegiate win with 2.1 innings. He struck out three and walked none in giving up two unearned runs on two hits.
- Cameron Hanes pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to record his eighth save which is the most since Nate Carter recorded nine saves in 2012.
- These same two teams play a doubleheader Saturday at noon in West Palm Beach. The Moccasins return to Lakeland and Sunshine State Conference on April 7-8 to face Rollins at Henley Field.