LAKELAND, FL - A five-run fifth inning by the visitors proved to be too much for Florida Southern College baseball to come back from in a 7-2 loss to Palm Beach Atlantic on Wednesday evening at Rodda Stadium at Henley Field. The Moccasins (20-18, 6-13 SSC) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third but the Sailfish (20-19, 10-12) sent nine batters to the plate in the fifth, scoring five runs on five hits to take what proved to be an insurmountable lead.
Jacob Kelley (3-2) took the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out six, pitching brilliantly for the first four frames before being chased in the top of the fifth after the first five batters reached base. Matt Leslie (2-1) picked up the win for PBA by allowing just one run on four hits in five innings of work with a walk and five strikeouts. Heath Hawkins tossed the final four innings, surrendering one unearned run on three hits, to earn his first save of the year.
The Moccasins and Sailfish are back in action on Thursday with a doubleheader at 12 p.m. at Henley Field. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Friday, but a weather forecast that calls for heavy rains moved the entire series up one day.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got on the board first when Zach Scott smoked a fastball into the gap in left-center to bring Colin Camarigg in from second with two outs. Camarigg reached base on a wild pitch after striking out and stole second before coming around to give the Mocs a 1-0 lead.
- Kelley, who looked solid on the mound through four innings, ran into trouble in the top of the fifth when he gave up back-to-back singles and walked a batter to load the bases with no outs. Palm Beach Atlantic took full advantage as Sean Houck singled through the left side to plate one run and Danny Tufarellio hit a ground-rule double to bring two more runs across. The double chased Kelley from the game and Logan Verrino entered in relief and got two quick outs. However, he would allow a pair of inherited runners to score an RBI single and a wild pitch that put the Sailfish up 5-1.
- PBA tacked another run on in the sixth on a throwing error by the pitcher and scored again on a sacrifice fly in the eighth to go up 7-1. Florida Southern had a golden opportunity to score in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and no outs, but came up empty and scored just one run the rest of the way on a two-out error in the ninth.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 26-8 all-time against Palm Beach Atlantic, including a 15-4 mark when facing the Sailfish at home.
- Jacob Teter finished 2-for-4 to reach base safely for the 38th-straight game this season.
- The Moccasins and Sailfish close out their three-game series with a 12 p.m. doubleheader on Thursday. Florida Southern is on the road for its next two series at Nova Southeastern (April 26-28) and Saint Leo (May 2-3) before closing out the season at home against Tampa (May 10-11).