LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College baseball scored four runs over the final three innings but was unable to overcome a big early deficit in an 11-7 loss to Embry-Riddle on Friday night in Sunshine State Conference action at Rodda Stadium at Henley Field. The Moccasins (17-12, 3-7 SSC) allowed the Eagles (18-10, 7-3) to score multiple runs in four of the first six innings as ERAU picked up its fifth-straight win.
Carson King (3-4) took the loss for the Mocs after allowing four runs on four hits in 3.0 innings of work. He struck out two and walked four. Troy Naab (6-1) picked up the win for the Eagles by working around five walks to toss 4.0 shutout innings in relief. Thomas Spinelli was tagged for seven runs in 2.1 innings in relief of King, while Logan Verrino (2.2 IP) and Matt Martin (1.0 IP) combined to allow just one hit over the final 3.2 innings of the game.
The teams return to action tomorrow at 3 p.m. for game two of the three-game weekend series, which concludes at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- King looked sharp on the mound when he got two quick outs to start the top of the first, but a two-out walk set up Kirk Sidwell's two-run homer to right to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the first frame. The Mocs responded in the bottom half of the inning to make it 2-1 when Zach Scott lined a one-out singled up the middle to bring Vaun Brown home following Brown's leadoff single and a stolen base. Jacob Teter would walk in the next at-bat to put runners on first and second with one out, but back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning squashed Southern's chance to tie things up
- Embry-Riddle loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third and Luis Olivier hit a line drive to left that brought in the runner from third to make it 3-1. Cole Habig's two-out single later in the inning made it 4-1 before Sidwell was put out at third to end the top of the third. Brown and Pablo Cabrera drew leadoff walks to start the bottom of the third and Brown advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on a failed pickoff attempt by Naab. Cabrera, who advanced to third on the error by Naab, came around to score on a passed ball in Teter's at-bat to make it 4-3.
- The fourth inning would prove to be the difference in the game as the Eagles scored four runs. John Devine's RBI double to left center got the scoring started for Embry-Riddle, and Sidwell plated two more with a two-run single to center. He would come in to score on Olivier's sacrifice fly to center as ERAU led 8-3 after the top of the fourth.
- Embry-Riddle added on another run in the fifth and plated two more on Olivier's two-run homer in the sixth to take an 11-3 lead. The Mocs got two back in the bottom of the seventh when Teter singled in a run and Isaiah Cullum drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 11-5. Cody Duke would hammer a two-out pitch over the right-field wall in the bottom of the ninth to make it 11-7, but the Mocs were unable to extend the inning after that.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 14-5 all-time against Embry-Riddle, including a 7-4 mark when facing the Eagles at home.
- The Mocs went just 4-of-17 with runners on base in Friday's loss, while the Eagles were 7-of-17.
- Teter reached base safely for the 29th game in a row, He went 1-for-2 and drew three walks on Friday.
- Brown stole his eighth base of the season as the Moccasins remained a perfect 21-of-21 in stolen-base attempts this year.
- Cabrera finished 1-for-4 to pick up his 190th career hit. He needs 38 more to crack the top 10 in school history.
- Florida Southern and Embry-Riddle continue their three-game series tomorrow at 3 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Mocs are back home next week for a three-game set against Rollins (April 5-7).