LAKELAND – Sam Machonis hit a three-run home run to key a seven-run second inning as 23rd-ranked Florida Southern upset fourth-ranked Minnesota State, 12-6, here Sunday at Henley Field.
After Minnesota State plated an unearned run in the first, Florida Southern answered with a solo run in the bottom of the first. Logan Browning legged out an infield single that was fielded by the first baseman with Maverick pitcher Josh Matheson covering on the play. Matheson appeared to jam his ankle when tagging first base and could not continue. Reliever Christian Howell came on and retired the next two batters before Jason Sierra singled Browning home to tie the game.
Browning set down the Mavericks in order in the top of the second while the Moccasins sent 13 men to the plate in the bottom of the frame.
Kevin Fuller got the ball rolling for Florida Southern (10-6) with a one-out double to left field – the first of four hits on the day for the junior catcher who would fall a home run shy of the cycle with two singles, a double and a triple.
One out later, Browning drew a walk while Machonis followed with a shot over the left field fence for his third round-tripper of the season. Mitch Reeves then reached on a throwing error by Howell while Sierra and Dominic Brugnoni followed with consecutive doubles for two more runs. Shawn Sanders tripled to deep center field for yet another Florida Southern run to chase Howell. Ryan Frost then greeted reliever Bailey Scott with a single to center for the Mocs' seventh run of the inning. Fuller beat out an infield single and Pablo Cabrera was hit with a pitch to load the bases, but Scott got out of the rally with a strikeout.
Minnesota State (5-3) picked up a pair of runs in the top of the third on walk and consecutive singles by Josh Wenzel, Luke Waldek, and Hunter Harnisch.
Browning (2-1) would give way to Cameron Hanes after a predetermined three innings of work. The Mavericks would score an unearned run off Hanes in the fifth and then added a solo run in the sixth on a double by Kyle Toth and a single by Eric Peterson.
Florida Southern would get one run back as Sierra was plunked with a pitch to lead off the sixth inning and score two outs later on a triple by Fuller. Minnesota State answered with a single run in the top of the eighth on a Toth RBI-single.
The Moccasins capped their scoring with two runs in the eighth on singles by Fuller and Browning.
Florida Southern will return to action on Wednesday at Henley Field at 1 pm against Winona State.