FT. LAUDERDALE, FL - Florida Southern College baseball jumped out to a 3-0 lead but was unable to hang on as No. 21 Nova Southeastern rallied for a 9-5 win in game two of a three-game Sunshine State Conference series on Saturday at the NSU Baseball Complex. The Sharks (31-15, 18-11 SSC) scored three runs in both the third and fourth innings and tacked on two more in the seventh to win their second-straight game over the Moccasins (21-22, 7-16).
Anthony Difede (1-1) picked up the win for NSU by tossing three scoreless innings in relief. He allowed just one hit and struck out a batter after entering the contest in the fifth inning after NSU starter Nathan Campbell gave up five runs, four earned, in just four innings. Cooper Bradford (1-5) took the loss for the Mocs as he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. He recorded six strikeouts but walked five batters before giving way to Jacob Kelley (2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) and Bobby Turkett (1.0 IP, 1 BB).
The Moccasins and Sharks will conclude their three-game series tomorrow at 12 p.m. before Florida Southern hits the road to take on Saint Leo in a three-game series (May 3-4).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern struck first when Zach Scott doubled following a leadoff walk by Pablo Cabrera to make it 1-0. After a pair of fly outs to right field, Jacob Teter reached on a fielding error by NSU second baseman Daniel Irisarri on a play that allowed Scott to score from third and give the Moccasins a 2-0 lead before Nova Southeastern had even sent a batter to the plate.
- The Mocs extended their lead to 3-0 when Vaun Brown hit a solo homer to left with two outs in the top of the second, but the Sharks plated one run in the bottom of the inning to slice the deficit to 3-1. Bryan Diaz led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt before coming around to score on Mike Rojas' RBI single to left.
- After retiring the Moccasins in order in the top of the third, Nova Southeastern struck again with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-3 lead. After the first two batters of the inning reached base on a strikeout/wild pitch and a single, Samuel Duran would make it 3-2 with an RBI single up the middle, and Irisarri tied things up with a one-run single to right. With runners on the corners and two away, Brandon Chinea reached first on a fielder's choice that brought the go-ahead run in form third and made it 4-3.
- The Mocs got back-to-back homers from Alex Goebel and Christian Maglich to start off the top of the fourth and jump back in front by one (5-4), but NSU scored three more times in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good. With two outs and the bases loaded, Rojas singled up the middle to plate two runs and Irisarri followed with another one-run single to make it 7-5. Neither team would score again until the seventh inning when Garrett Wolforth smacked a two-run homer to center to make the final 9-5.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 44-34 all-time against Nova Southeastern, including a 19-21 mark when facing the Sharks on the road.
- Cabrera, who finished 2-for-3, picked up the 204th hit of his career and needs 28 more to crack the top 10 in school history in career hits. He is just the 18th player in school history with 200 hits in a career.
- Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern wrap up their series 12 p.m. on Sunday. The Mocs will head to Saint Leo for three games next weekend (May 3-4) before closing out the season at home against Tampa (May 10-11). Senior Day for Florida Southern will take place prior to the 6 p.m. contest against Tampa on May 10.