TIGERVILLE, SC - Florida Southern College baseball jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but could not overcome a four-run bottom of the first from North Greenville in a 7-3 loss in Wednesday at Ashmore Park. The Moccasins (17-2-1) dropped their first non-conference contest of the season, while the Crusaders (16-4) won their second-straight game and moved to 7-0 at home this season.
Logan Browning (4-1) suffered his first loss in almost a full calendar year as North Greenville's bullpen tossed eight innings of one-run ball after Crusader starter Blake Hamilton was lifted after just one inning of work. The Mocs head to Flagler on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before returning home for a three-game Sunshine State Conference series against Eckerd from March 16-17 to open a seven-game homestand.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a fast start as the first four batters reached base in the top of the first. Cody Burgess singled up the middle to start the game, and Pablo Cabrera laced a 1-2 pitch down the left field line for a double in the next at-bat to put runners on second and third with no outs. After Austin Mauer drew a walk to load the bases, Omar Villaman singled to right center to bring Burgess in from third for the game's first run. With the bases loaded and one out, Jacob Teter hit a ground ball to second that drove in Cabrera from third but erased Villaman on a 4-6 putout. Browning would strike out to end the inning and put a stop to the scoring.
- After snagging a 2-0 lead after just a half inning of play, Browning ran into trouble on the mound and allowed four runs on five hits, a hit batter, and a wild pitch in the bottom of the first. North Greenville plated its first run on an RBI single and scored three more on a triple down the left field line to make it 4-0. After allowing another single, issuing a walk and tossing a wild pitch, Browning was able to get a strikeout to end the inning and keep the deficit at two (4-2).
- Neither team would score again until the third inning when the Crusaders led off the frame with a solo homer to left field to increase their lead to 5-2. The Moccasins had a chance to slice into the deficit in the top of the fourth, but Burgess struck out swinging with runners on second and third to end the inning. Florida Southern got a run back in the sixth when Vaun Brown scored on a wild pitch, but the Mocs were unable to come up with any more runs, and the Tigers scored two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh to come away with the win.
- Browning tossed 4.0 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts. J.T. Hintzen pitched the final four innings for the Moccasins, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Villaman led the Mocs with three hits, while Brown and J.P. DeBoyer each had two.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Wednesday's game was the first-ever meeting between the Moccasins and Crusaders. The loss snapped a 26-game non-conference, regular season winning streak for Florida Southern, which had not lost to a non-conference foe in the regular season since a 9-4 defeat at Flagler on Feb. 28, 2017.
- Browning's loss was his first since a 6-4 loss to Tampa on April 22, 2017. He had not lost in any of his previous eight starts until Wednesday's defeat and was 6-0 with a pair of no-decisions during that span.
- Wednesday's game was played entirely on an artificial service at NGU's Ashmore Park. Florida Southern left 11 runners on base, while the Crusaders stranded just four runners. The Mocs entered the game ranked No. 3 in the latest Collegiate Baseball rankings, while North Greenville is ranked No. 18.
- Florida Southern wraps up its four-game road trip with a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday, March 13 at Flagler. The Mocs are home for seven-straight games beginning on March 16-17 with a three-game SSC series against Eckerd. Florida Southern will host Flagler on March 21 and wraps up the homestand against Lynn on March 23-24.