LAKELAND, FL - A four-run first inning proved to be just what Florida Southern College baseball needed to snap a five-game losing streak as it picked up a 6-2 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan on Friday at Rodda Field at Henley Stadium. The Moccasins (7-7) batted around in the first to take game three of the series from the Panthers (5-9) thanks to a red-hot offense and a solid start on the mound by Matt Martin.
Martin (2-2) scattered 10 hits over six innings while allowing two runs and striking out three. Thomas Spinelli (2.0 IP, 2 H, 4 K) and Leo Rodriguez (1.0 IP, 2 K) slammed the door shut over the final three innings and five different Mocs had at least two hits in the game. Zach Scott (3-of-5, 2 RBI) and Jacob Teter (2-of-3, 2 RBI) led Southern's offensive attack, while Vaun Brown, Colin Camarigg, and Ricky Gonzalez each had two hits.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Brown got Florida Southern started with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first and reached third on Camarigg's single in the next at-bat. Scott's single down the left line gave the Mocs their third hit in a row and brought in Brown to make it 1-0. Zach Diewert hit a routine ground ball to third in the next at-bat, but Kentucky Wesleyan third baseman Brayden Sisson fired the ball over the head of first baseman Joseph Burke which allowed Camarigg to score and Scott and Diewert to move into scoring position. Teter came through next with a two-run single to center to make it 4-0.
- The Mocs nearly did more damage later in the inning with the bases loaded, but Panthers' starting pitcher Cam Curry induced a ground ball with two outs to get out of the inning without further damage. Sisson made amends in the top of the second with an RBI single to right center, but Martin induced a groundout with a runner on third to keep the Moccasins ahead 4-0.
- Neither team would score again until the fourth when Scott smacked a line drive that deflected off KWC reliever Ian Ellis for an infield single and an RBI to go up 5-1. Kentucky Wesleyan got one run back in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to 5-2 on a bases-loaded walk, but Florida Southern tacked on an insurance run on a fielding error in the sixth inning that allowed Scott to score from third.
- Spinelli worked out of a jam in the top of the eighth by recording back-to-back strikeouts with runners on second and third to keep the 6-2 lead intact. Rodriguez shut things down in the ninth with a groundout and a pair of strikeouts to give Florida Southern the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 5-2 all-time against Kentucky Wesleyan. Moccasin head coach Lance Niekro picked up the 194th win of his career and needs just six more to get to 200 victories as the head coach at FSC. He is 194-122-1 in seven seasons at the helm of the program.
- The Panthers stranded 13 runners while the Mocs left 12 on base. Brown stole two bases in the game and Camarigg stole one to make the Moccasins a perfect 11-of-11 in stolen base attempts this year.
- Florida Southern will take on Minnesota State in a single game at 6 p.m. on Monday, and will face Felician in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The Mocs will then hit the road for three games at Claflin (March 8-10).