LAKE WALES – Florida Southern completed the season sweep against Warner with a 9-4 victory Tuesday evening.
The Royals (12-29-1) got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after a leadoff single followed by a walk put runners on first and second. A 6-4-3 twin killing advanced the runner to third, and he scored on a wild pitch.
That lead would not last long, however, as FSC's (15-16, 4-8 SSC) patience would pay off with three runs coming off on four walks in the top of the second inning. Senior catcher Blake Swann (Live Oak, Fla.) led off the inning with a walk, and advanced to second on an errant throw. A wild pitch advanced him to third, and, after three consecutive walks to junior center fielder Sam Machonis (Tampa, Fla.) who also stole second in the inning, redshirt-junior Dominic Brugnoni (St. Clair Shores, Mich.), and senior second baseman Trevor Freeman (Shalimar, Fla.) tied the game at one. The Mocs added to their lead the following inning when junior right fielder Jhalan Jackson (Winter Haven, Fla.) led off with a double down the left field line, and scored on a Brugnoni single.
Warner was able to bring it within one run by scoring twice in the home half of the third on an RBI double by Jordan Pike, who came around to score on the play because of a throwing error.
FSC duplicated that productivity the following half inning. A one out single by junior shortstop Shawn Sanders (Citra, Fla.) led to a walk by senior third baseman Chris Dennis (Rockledge, Fla.), and a double-steal put two runners in scoring position for the Mocs. A groundout by Jackson brought in Sanders, and Dennis scored on a wild pitch. Dennis, whose career-high consecutive on-base streak has been stretched to 29 games, had his hit streak snapped tonight. Dennis, who hit safely in 29 of the 31 games this season, holds the third longest streak in school history.
The scoring would stall out on both sides until the seventh inning when Warner earned four walks of their own to scratch across their final run. Sophomore A.J. Smith (Merritt Island, Fla.) came in relief with one out in the inning, and finished off the final two and two-thirds of the game earning his first career save.
The Mocs answered back in the next inning that started with back-to-back-to-back singles by Freeman, senior left fielder Kyle Richards (Groton, Conn.), and Sanders. Freeman scored on a 6-4-3 double play. They would tack on two more in the final frame that got started with a one-out double by sophomore first baseman Jason Sierra (Sarasota, Fla.). A pair of walks by Machonis and senior pinch hitter Joey Miller (Sarasota, Fla.) would load the bases for junior pinch hitter Colton Davis (Lake Wales, Fla.), who walked in a run. Another walk by Sanders scored the Mocs final run.
Florida Southern will travel to Sunshine State Conference foe Saint Leo this weekend with the series opener on Friday, March 10 at 6 p.m.