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Mocs Fall on Walk-Off Homer by No. 13 Lynn in First Game of Wednesday's Doubleheader

Mocs Fall on Walk-Off Homer by No. 13 Lynn in First Game of Wednesday's Doubleheader

BOCA RATON - Florida Southern opened the final day of the regular season here Wednesday by suffering a heartbreaking 8-7 loss to 13th-ranked Lynn in the first game of a Sunshine State Conference doubleheader at the Lynn Baseball Field.

Wednesday's doubleheader was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was forced to be postponed due to the weather in the Boca Raton area. 

In Wednesday's opener, the Mocs opened the scoring in the fourth inning on a solo home run by junior catcher Blake Swann (Live Oak, Fla.) off of Lynn starting hurler Travis Connelly. 

FSC extended its lead to 5-0 in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a lead off solo home run by junior centerfielder Sam Machonis (Tampa, Fla.) and 3-run homer off the bat of junior rightfielder Jhalan Jackson (Winter Haven, Fla.). 

The Fighting Knights, though, would rally in the bottom of the fifth inning as they sent nine batters to the plate and scored six runs on four hits to take a 6-5 lead. All of Lynn's runs come on home runs in the inning as Ben Schwanburg led off with a solo homer, while Thomas Kain drilled a pitch from sophomore Craig Savage (Apopka, Fla.) over the fence in right for a 3-run home run and two batters later Alex DeBellis hit a 2-run homer to give Lynn the lead. 

FSC would retake the lead in the seventh off of Lynn reliever Bill Mendek as after walked senior third baseman Chris Dennis (Rockledge, Fla.) with one out, Jackson drilled the first pitch he saw from Mendek over the fence in straight away center to give the Mocs a 7-6 lead. The homer by Jackson was his 20th of the season and his fifth multi-homer game of the year.

Trailing 7-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Lynn rallied for two runs, including winning the game on a 2-run walk-off home run by Kain off of Moccasin senior reliever Casey Eskew (Sarasota, Fla.). The homer was the second of the game for Kain, who went 3-for-5 at the plate in the game. 

Kain's homer made a loser out of Eskew (1-3), who faced just three batters as he struck out Matt Ackerman to open the inning and then allowed a single by John Borup and Kain's walk-off homer. 

Savage pitched five innings in his final start of the season and allowed six hits and six runs, while walking three and fanning two. Sophomore A.J. Smith (Merritt Island, Fla.) pitched the next three innings and allowed two hits and no runs, while walking one and striking out two. 

Mendek (5-2), who pitched the final three innings for Lynn, earned the win in relief of Connelly as he allowed two hits and two runs, while walking two and striking out three. 

The Mocs, who finished with eight hits in the win, was paced offensively by two hits and 5 RBI from Jackson, while Machonis and Dennis each had two hits in the loss. 

Lynn recorded 10 hits in the game as Kain was 3-for-5 at the plate with two home runs and 5 RBIs, while DeBellis and Schwanburg had two hits in the victory. 

The two teams were scheduled to conclude the three-game series with a second game on Wednesday that was scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m.