SAINT LEO - Pinch-hitter Bret Coffel singled in Dylan Harris with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Saint Leo overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat 23rd-ranked Florida Southern, 5-4, in the Sunshine State Conference series opener here Friday at Thomas B. Southard Stadium on the Saint Leo University campus.
The loss drops the Moccasins to 33-14 overall an 11-11 in the SSC while Saint Leo improves to 22-25 overall and 7-15 in the league.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The host Lions took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out home run by Dylan Harris off Moccasin pitcher, Logan Browning.
- Florida Southern tied the game in the second inning as Mitch Reeves drew a one-out walk and then moved to second on a balk by Saint Leo starting pitcher, Tyler Bauman. After J.P. DeBoyer also walked, Evan Barnes singled to left field to score Reeves.
- Cody Burgess blasted a three-run homer in the fourth to put the Moccasins ahead 4-1. Reeves started the innings with his second walk of the game, while one out later, Barnes was hit by a pitch. After the second out of the inning, Burgess hit his 12th homer of the season.
- Saint Leo got one run back in the fifth on singles by Derek Gibree and Lance Stancil, to cut the Moccasin lead to 4-2. One inning later, the Lions tied the game with a pair of runs on four singles off reliever J.T. Hintzen. On the fourth single, Gibree was gunned down at home by rightfielder Christian Maglich to end the rally and keep the score tied at 4-all.
- Maglich led off the sixth with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch, but Bauman came back to strike out the next three batters to end the inning.
- The Lions had runners on first and third in the bottom of the seventh with one out off reliever Tyler Knowles, but the senior reliever roared back by striking out the next batters to put an end to the Saint Leo rally.
- The Moccasins loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth off Jordan Pemberton, but reliever Zach Whitaker came on and struck out Jason Sierra to end another FSC threat.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern College leads the all-time series with Saint Leo, 131-48, including a 57-28 record in games played at Saint Leo.
- Burgess' home run in the fourth gives the Moccasins 66 homers on the season, the fifth most in school history and the most since the 2009 team hit 72 round-trippers.
- Browning struck out three in his 5.0 innings of work, giving him a league-high 99 strikeouts on the season.
- Cameron Hanes, who came on in relief with two outs in the eighth inning, took the loss for the Moccasins and falls to 1-2 on the season.
- Austin Mauer and Reeves each had two hits to lead Florida Southern. Reeves also scored a pair of runs.
- Pablo Cabrera singled in the eighth inning and now has hits in 25 of his last 27 games, going 42-for-108 during that span for a .389 average.
- The Moccasins wrap up the regular season with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday at Saint Leo.
- The NCAA postseason selection show is Sunday at 10 p.m. ET and may be viewed at NCAA.com.