LAKELAND – Mitch Reeves went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs as 8th-ranked Florida Southern sailed past Palm Beach Atlantic, 11-3, here Friday night at Henley Field. The Moccasins broke open a 5-3 game with a five-run fifth inning.
The win is the fifth in a row for the 21-7 Moccasins, who have now won 13 of their last 14 contests. Palm Beach Atlantic, a provisional member of the Sunshine State Conference, falls to 17-15.
Reeves drove in his first run with a first-inning double to score Logan Browning who reached on an error to open the frame for the Moccasins. Blake Swann led off the second with a double for Florida Southern and would score on a sacrifice fly by Sam Machonis. Reeves followed with a single to left field to plate Kevin Fuller, who had walked behind Swann.
With two outs in the third, Swann drew a walk and scored on a double by Fuller as the Moccasins took a 4-0 lead. Shawn Sanders singled in the fourth to score Machonis in the bottom of the fourth.
Moccasin starter Ben Richardson, 8-1, opened with three shutout innings for Florida Southern, before the Sailfish pushed across one run in the top of the fourth as Julian Bilodeau was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. PBAU added two more runs in the top of the fifth on three hits, including a two-run double by Kyle Simon.
Florida Southern then sent eight men to the plate in the bottom of the fifth for five runs. Pablo Cabrera got things started with a one-out single while Browning drew a walk. A strikeout later, Reeves collected his third RBI of the game with a single to score Cabrera and Browning would score on a passed ball. Jason Sierra drew a walk while Dominic Brugnoni followed with a double down the left field line and then scored on a single by Shawn Sanders for a 10-3 lead. The Mocs would add an unearned run in the sixth for the final 11-3 margin.
Craig Savage came on in relief of Richardson to start the sixth for Florida Southern and tossed a pair of shutout innings with four strikeouts. The first two Sailfish batters reached in the seventh, but Savage recorded one strikeout before hitting a batter to load the bases and then struck out the final two batters to squelch the rally.
Walker Burgess worked the last two frames for the Moccasins, striking out three batters in the ninth, including the last one with runners on second and third to end the game.
The same two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. at Henley Field.