AUGUSTA, Ga. - Logan Browning's two-run homer capped a 5-0 start and backed a strong effort from pitcher Ben Richardson as Florida Southern downed Augusta, 7-2, here at Lake Olmstead Stadium in the season opener for both teams. The win gives Florida Southern a 44-17 record on opening day since 1957.
Browning, a 2014 graduate of Lakeland Christian School, singled to right field lead off the game for Florida Southern. Sam Machonis drew a walk while Mitch Reeves was hit a pitch to load the bases. Jason Sierra then singled to left to drive in Browning and Machonis for a quick 2-0 Moccasin lead. Dominic Brugnoni followed with a base hit to left to plate Machonis as Florida Southern jumped out to a 3-0 lead before August could record an out.
The scoring continued for Florida Southern in the second inning as Pablo Cabrera led off by being hit a pitch. Browning then blasted a homer to right center field to give Florida Southern a 5-0 lead.
After scoreless third inning, the Mocs scored a pair of runs in the fourth frame with Shawn Sanders leading off with a single to left field. Cabrera reached on a fielder's choice with Sanders moving to third on a throwing error. Browning then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Cabrera to second base with Machonis driving in both Sandersa and Cabrera with a single to left.
Meanwhile, Richardson retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced before Connor Gilbert doubled with two outs in the bottom of the fourth for the Jaguars first base hit. Nick Rau then singled up the middle to plate Gilbert.
Florida Southern threatened again with two outs in the fifth as Blake Swann and Sanders hit back-to-back singles, but both were left on the bases.
Richardson allowed a single in the bottom of the fifth and a pair of singles in the sixth, but got out of both jams. The senior righthander worked 7.0 innings and held the Jaguars to one run on six hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.
A.J. Smith came on to pitch the eighth for Florida Southern and surrendered a RBI-double to Hunter Boose for Augusta's second run. Mitch McCarthy tossed a scoreless ninth, striking out two, to close out the win for Florida Southern.
On the day, Browning had two hits and two runs batted in. Sanders also had two hits while Machonis and Sierra each drove in two runs.
David Bermudez took the loss for the host Jaguars, being chased after just two innings, allowing five runs on four hits. Boose had three hits for Augusta while Rau and Gilbert each had two hits.
The same two teams go at it again on Sunday at 1 pm at Augusta.