LAKELAND - Thomas Spinelli struck out eight in 6-2/3 innings of work as 4th-ranked Florida Southern opened a three-game series with an 8-1 win over visiting Kentucky Wesleyan here Tuesday at Henley Field. Spinelli, a transfer from the University of Mississippi, held the Panthers to just one run on four hits in earning his first collegiate win. Florida Southern moves to 13-1 on the season while Kentucky Wesleyan falls to 4-5.
Christian Maglich went 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored to pace the offense while Logan Browning collected a double and a triple and scored three times. Pablo Cabrera, Vaun Brown, and Dylan Costa each had two hits as the Moccasins out-hit the Panthers, 12-5.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Florida Southern grabbed the early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second as Maglich tripled to drive in Browning and then scored on an infield groundout.
Kentucky Wesleyan got one run back in the top of the third on an RBI-double by Cody Bridges.
The Moccasins added an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth as Browning was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on an infield error by the Panthers to give FSC a 3-1 lead.
Florida Southern batted around in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs on four hits. Browning, who entered the third in the Sunshine State Conference with a .444 average, started the frame with a double and moved to second on an errant pick-off attempt and scored on a wild pitch. Maglich followed with a single and moved up 90-feet when Brown singled. After a walk by Costa and a pitching change, Cody Burgess hit a ground-rule double to right to plate two runs while Cabrera hit a conventional double to right for two more runs.
The Moccasins wasted a chance to tack on another run as Browning led off the seventh by tripling down the right field line, but was stranded at third base.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
This is only the second time Florida Southern and Kentucky Wesleyan have met. The Moccasins won the first meeting, 5-2, in 1999.
Costa now has hits in 12 of his last 13 games and is 20-for-49 during that stretch for a .408 average.
Florida Southern had hit one triple on the season but tripled that total with three-base hits tonight by Browning and Maglich. The Moccasins added doubles by Burgess, Cabrera, Browning, and Brown for six extra-base hits in the contest.
J.T. Hintzen relieved Spinelli with runners on second and third and two outs and struck out the one batter he faced to end the threat. Matt Martin and Mike Palaez each tossed one scoreless inning of relief.
Florida Southern will continue a three-game series with Kentucky Wesleyan on Thursday at Henley Field at 6 p.m. and then the two clubs will close out their series with a 1 p.m. game on Friday, also at Henley Field.
The Moccasins are also at home on Saturday for a 4 p.m. game against Cedarville.