LAKELAND - Florida Southern used a six-run seventh inning to overcome a 5-0 deficit and defeat Tampa, 10-7, in the opening game of a three-game Sunshine State Conference series here Friday at Henley Field. With the win, their fourth in a row, the 15th-ranked Moccasins improve to 30-8 overall and 8-5 in the SSC while the No. 7 Spartans fall to 27-11 and 13-3.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Tampa used home runs by Darren Miller, Conner Crile and Chris Gaffney to stake a 5-0 lead through 5.0 innings off Moccasins starter Jake Walsh.
- The Moccasins finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth on singles by Logan Browning and Christian Maglich off of Tampa starter David LeBron, followed by a sacrifice fly by Cody Burgess and a RBI-single by Pablo Cabrera to pull within three, 5-2.
- Omar Villaman singled for his second hit of the game to lead off the sixth inning and scored on an infield single by Mitch Reeves to cut into the Tampa lead, 5-3.
- Tampa went to reliever Cheyne Bickel (4-4) to start the seventh inning and Vaun Brown started the Moccasin big inning by greeting Bickley with a double. Burgess then followed with a homer to right field, his 10th of the season, to tie the game at 5-all. Cabrera drew a walk after the Burgess homer and one out later, Villaman also walked and Jason Sierra was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Reeves then reached on a fielder's choice to plate Cabrera with the go-ahead run and Browning lifted a sinking fly ball to center field on which three Spartans collided tying to catch with the ball dropping to the turf as two more runs scored. Browning capped the scoring, crossing the plate on a throwing error to give the Mocs 9-5 lead.
- Reeves drove in the Moccasins' final run int he eighth with a single to score Cabrera who led off frame with a walk.
- The Spartans took advantage of a pair of Moccasins errors for two unearned runs in the top of the ninth.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern now leads the overall series 107-97, including a 60-42 advantage in games played in Lakeland.
- Walsh got the win for the Moccasins, striking out eight in 7.0 innings with five runs allowed, four earned, on 10 hits. He is now 10-1 on the season, becoming the first FSC pitcher to reach double digits in wins since Max Russell went 11-2 in 2010. His 10 wins also leads the Sunshine State Conference.
- Villaman led the Moccasins with three hits while Cabrera, Reeves, Browning, and Maglich each had two hits. Burgess had a team-high three runs batted in while Reeves and Browning each had two RBI.
- The Moccasins and Spartans conclude their SSC series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday at Henley Field.