DAHLONEGA, GA - After hitting five home runs in Friday's doubleheader, the Moccasins continued to play long ball with round-trippers by Pablo Cabrera, Austin Mauer, and Hayden Marze as Florida Southern posted an 8-4 win over North Georgia to sweep the three-game series and remain undefeated at 7-0. The Nighthawks fall to 2-4. The 7-0 start to the season is the best for Florida Southern since the 2011 squad also began the year with seven straight wins.
Cabrera led the Moccasins with three hits while Mauer, Omar Villaman, and Logan Browning each had two hits as Florida Southern outhit North Georgia, 13-7. J.J. Niekro (2-0) struck out six over 6.0 innings to get the win for the Moccasins while Matt Martin worked the final three innings for his first save.
HOW IT HAPPENED
With one out in the first, Cabrera and Mauer hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches for a quick 2-0 lead. Cabrera's homer, his first of the season, went to right field, while Mauer's shot, his second, was over the left field fence.
Florida Southern added four runs in the top of the third as Villaman led off with a walk, followed by a double off the bat of Logan Brown. Marze then blasted his fourth homer of the season way over the left field fence for a 5-0 FSC lead. Jacob Teter then singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a ground out. He then crossed the plate on another wild pitch for the Moccasins' sixth run.
Niekro was cruising along with four strikeouts in five scoreless innings while allowing just three base hits and had two more strikeouts in the top of the sixth, before North Georgia got to the sophomore righthander. Bill LeRoy started the rally with a single while two walks by Niekro loaded the bases. Joshua Profit then doubled in two runs while a single by Jake Arnold plated a third run, but leftfielder Vaun Brown threw out Profit at the plate trying to score on the play.
The Nighthawks cut the lead to 7-4 once again as Andres Perez homered to lead off the eighth off of Moccasin reliever Matt Martin who had entered the game to start the seventh frame.
Brown gave the Mocs back their four-run cushion with a sacrifice fly to score Villaman in the ninth. Florida Southern started the inning with the bases loaded as Villaman and Browning singled to kick off the inning and Marze was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but could only manage the one run.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Florida Southern has 14 home runs on the year and have hit two or more homers in four of the seven games this season. The Moccasins have now homered in 17 straight contests dating back to last season with 35 homers during that stretch.
Marze's home run in the third inning extended his hitting streak to six games. The junior Mississippi State transfer has four home runs and driven in 12 runs in those six games.
Costa's single in the top of the eighth extended his hit streak to six games as well.
The back-to-back homers by Marze and Teter in the same third inning marked the second time in this young season two Moccasins have gone yard in consecutive at bats.
The save by Martin gives the Moccasins a save in six of the seven games this season.
The Moccasins return home to historic Henley Field this coming weekend, Feb. 16-17 for a three-game series against Lee University. Game one is Friday at 6 p.m. with a 1 p.m. doubleheader to follow on Saturday.
Florida Southen will play the Detroit Tigers in the two clubs annual Spring Training clash on Thursday, Feb. 22, at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.