CARY, NC - Senior All-American Logan Browning matched a season-high with 11 strikeouts as Florida Southern downed Southern Indiana, 5-3, in the Mocs' opening game at the NCAA Division II National Tournament at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Florida Southern (43-9-1) advances to play Augustana, a 5-2 winner of Southern New Hampshire, Sunday at 7 p.m. The game was originally slated for Monday, but heavy rain is forecast for the area, so four games will be played Sunday.
Browning (10-2) limited the Screaming Eagles to a pair of run on six hits while issuing just one walk over his 7.0 innings of work. Senior All-American J.T. Hintzen worked the final two innings to earn his second save on the season and recorded three strikeouts for the Moccasins.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Southern Indiana threatened in the top of the first inning on a one-out walk and single after Moccasin starter Logan Browning struck out the first batter. Both runners advanced on stolen bases, but Browning came back to strike out the next two batters to end the threat.
- Florida Southern loaded the bases in the bottom of the second on base hits by Hayden Marze, Jacob Teter, and Vaun Brown off Southern Indiana starter Devin Williams (5-5), but could not push across a run.
- The Screaming Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on two base hits that did not leave the infield. Ethan Hunter beat out a slow roller down the third base line and then stole second and was sacrificed to third. Jacob Fleming then bunted to Teter at first base with Hunter scoring on the safety squeeze. USI had runners on the corners, but Browning enticed an inning-ending pop up to right field.
- The Moccasins jumped out of the gate in the bottom of the third as Cody Burgess reached on an infield error on the first pitch of the inning while Pablo Cabrera hit the second pitch to left center to put runners on the corners. However, Williams got a line out and then a double play to strand the two Moccasins runners.
- Florida Southern jumped ahead 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Marze was hit by a pitch for the 19th time this season to lead off the inning and stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by the USI catcher. One out later, he would score on a single to left by Christian Maglich. Brown walked and one out later, Burgess smashed his 13th homer over the left field-field fence for the three-run lead.
- Just as the Moccasins were ready to take the field in the top of the fifth, rains fell on the field and the tarp was pulled forcing a 1:14 minute delay in a game that already started about an hour and twenty minutes late due to a 1:46 rain delay in the opening game of the tournament in which Augustana defeated Southern New Hampshire, 5-2.
- Marze increased the Moccasin lead to 5-1 with a blast to left-center field. It was Marze's 20th homer of the season, tying the FSC school record set by Jhalan Jackson in 20
- Nick Gobert cut the Florida Southern lead to 5-2 with a one-out solo home run in the top of the sixth.
- Browning allowed a single and hit a batter in the top of the seventh, but got a ground ball to Villaman at shortstop to end the inning.
- J.T. Hintzen came on in relief of Browning to start the top of the eighth for the Moccasins and after setting Southern Indiana down in order in the eighth, facing five batters in the ninth, allowing one run on a pair of singles to earn his second save of the year.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern now has a 151-78 record in the NCAA postseason.
- The 43 wins by the Moccasins this season (43-9-1) is the most since the 2007 squad went 44-16.
- This was the first meeting between Florida Southern and Southern Indiana on the baseball diamond.
- Browning struck out 11 Screaming Eagles (and issued just one walk), moving him into fifth place all-time at FSC with 280 career strikeouts. The Lakeland native now is 23-7 over his three-year Moccasin career with the 23 victories tying him for eighth place on the all-time wins list This was also Browning's 48th career start which is fourth most in Moccasin history.
- With Browning (10-2) and Hintzen (13-0) both reaching double digits in wins this season, this is the first time since 1999 that two Moccasin hurlers have each won 10 or more game (B.J. Leach - 11-2 and Jeremy Ward - 10-2).
- Burgess' homer was his 13th of the season, tying him with six others for seventh place at Florida Southern. It was also the 27th of his career, matching Wil Cherry (2006-09) and James Vida (1994-95) for fifth-most all-time for any Moccasin batter. The home run by Marze was FSC's 75th on the season.
- Teter's second-inning single extends his hit streak to eight games. With his fourth-inning single, Maglich has now reached base safely in 29 straight games while Marze has now reached safely in 27 straight games.
With heavy rains expected on Monday, the NCAA committee has changed the schedule for Sunday. Four games are now scheduled for Sunday as follow:
- SUNDAY, MAY 27
- Game 3 - 10:00 am - UC San Diego vs. Texas A&M Kingsville
- Game 4 - 1:00 pm - Columbus State vs. Mercyhurst
- Game 5 - 4:00 pm - Southern New Hampshire vs. Southern Indiana
- Game 6 - 7:00 pm - Augustana vs. Florida Southern