LAKELAND - Rollins hit five home runs to upset 10th-ranked Florida Southern, 11-9, in a Sunshine State Conference slugfest here Friday night at windy Henley Field. The loss snaps the the Moccasins' 17-game win streak and drops the team to 25-7 overall and 6-4 in the league while Rollins improves to 19-13 overall and 4-6 in the SSC.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Rollins jumped on Florida Southern starter Logan Browning for two solo homers in the first inning by Nick Breen and Brian Brooker for a 2-0 lead and stretched to lead to 5-0 when Peter Nicolletto hit a three-run in the second inning.
- The Moccasins countered with a five-run bottom of the second to knot the game at 5-all. Omar Villaman got the ball rolling by drawing a one-out walk and then scoring on a double by Austin Mauer. Evan Barnes was hit by a pitch by Rollins starter A.J. Chacon, who then walked Christian Maglich. One out later, Cody Burgess drove in Mauer and Barnes with a double to left center and Pablo Cabrera singled in Maglich and Burgess to cap the five-run frame.
- Florida Southern entered the home-run derby in the bottom of the third as Evan Barnes hit a two-run homer to left field with Mauer aboard to put the Moccasins up, 7-5.
- Rollins got the two runs back in the top of the fourth on a Browning wild pitch and a RBI-single by Breen, while Christopher Corbett gave the lead back to the visiting Tars with a solo homer in the fifth to chase Browning.
- The Moccasins then jumped back ahead 9-8 on solo homers by Mitch Reeves and Mauer in the bottom of the fifth.
- The Tars went ahead for good in the fifth as Isaiah Russell drew a lead-off walk off Moccasin reliever, Mitch McCarthy (0-1) and Nicoletto hit his second homer of the game to give the Tars a 10-9 lead. Rollins added its final run in the top of the ninth on back-to-back singles by Grant Ashline and Corbett off of reliever Tyler Knowles.
- Reliever Caleb Jake (4-1) took the win for Rollins, shutting down Florida Southern for 3.0 innings before giving way to Joey Vecchione who retired the final four FSC batters in order to earn his seventh save of the year.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- The Moccasins lead the all-time series with Rollins, 146-73.
- The 17-game win streak was the fourth longest in Florida Southern program history and was the longest since the 2005 team opened the season by winning the first 18 games.
- The loss by the Moccasins was their first since Feb. 28.
- Cabrera's second-inning single extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the second longest on the team this season, topped only by Jason Sierra's 13-game streak from Feb. 25-March 18.
- Reeves' homer was his 10th of the season and the 21st of his career, tying him for 10th place on FSC's all-time career list with Fred Popp (2003-05) and Dennis Valdes (1979-80). Six Moccasins hit 22 career homers to tie for ninth place.
- Barnes' home run in the third inning was his second of the year while Mauer's round-tripper in the fourth was his fourth in his last four games and his sixth of the season.
- Reeves, Mauer, and Walker Burgess, who came in the game as a pinch-hitter in the fifth, all had two hits for Florida Southern, while Cody Burgess, Cabrera, Mauer, and Barnes, all had two runs batted in.
- Florida Southern and Rollins play a doubleheader at Henley Field on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.