ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Vaun Brown's two-run homer in the top of the seventh ignited an 11-run, two-inning out-pouring as Florida Southern cruised to a 14-2 non-conference victory at Eckerd College on Tuesday. The Mocs were leading 3-2 before scoring four times in the seventh and seven more times in the eighth.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern threatened in the first inning as Cody Burgess led off the game by being hit by a pitch and then stole second but was left stranded.
- Moccasin starter Thomas Spinelli, making his collegiate debut, struggled in the bottom of the first, surrendering back-to-back singles and two walks with one run scoring on a groundout, but came back strong to strike out the final two batters with the bases loaded. The Ole Miss transfer threw 40 pitches in the opening frame.
- Florida Southern came back in the second inning, loading the bases to start the inning on a walk by Logan Browning, a single by Hayden Marze, and another walk by Jacob Teter. Browning was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, but Marze scored on a groundout by Dylan Costa. Burgess then lined a shot up the middle to score Teter and Costa and give the Mocs a 3-1 lead.
- Eckerd had a runner on third with one out in the second, but Spinelli picked up his fourth strikeout for out number two and then got a pop up to shortstop to end the inning. Keith Leavitt homered off Spinelli with two out in the sixth for Eckerd's final run.
- The Moccasins put up a four-spot in the top of the seventh inning as Brown slammed a pitch over the left field fence with Teter aboard via a walk. Burgess then walked and scored on Pablo Cabrera's double and a Triton error. Cabrera advanced to third on an errant pick-off by a Triton reliever and then scored on a wild pitch to put Florida Southern ahead 7-2.
- Florida Southern sent 13 men to the plate in the next frame, with seven of the nine starters scoring as the Moccasins increased their lead to 14-2. Teter and Costa singled and Marze doubled for FSC's only hits of the inning as three Eckerd pitchers combined for four walks and two hits batsmen.
- Matt Martin got the win with 3.0 innings of relief work, striking out four and walking none while holding Eckerd to one run on a pair of hits. Spinelli worked 4.0 innings with five punchouts and three walks while allowing one run on three hits. Marze, who started the game as the Mocs' designated hitters, closed out the final two innings with four more strikeouts as the FSC pitchers combined for 13 Ks on the night.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Tonight was the 178th meeting between these two schools with Florida Southern holding a 141-37 mark in the series, including a 65-22 record in St. Petersburg. The Moccasins have won nine in a row in the series and FSC head coach Lance Niekro is now 14-4 vs. Eckerd in his career.
- Cabrera's seventh-inning double extended his hit streak to 14 games dating back to April 29 of last season.
- Brown's home run in the same seventh inning was the Moccasins six homer of the season. Florida Southern set the school record last season with 81 round trippers.
- Marze was the only Moccasin to collect two hits on the night and joined Burgess, Brown, and Costa as those with two runs batted in. Teter scored three times for Florida Southern while Cabrera, Marze, Brown, and Costa each scored twice.
- Florida Southern travels to Dahlonega, GA this weekend for a three-game series, Feb. 9-11. Game one is Friday at 4 p.m.; game two Saturday at 1 p.m.; and game three Sunday at noon.
- Florida Southern returns home Feb. 16-17 for a three-game series against Lee.