TAMPA, FL - Jacob Teter scored from third on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth to lift 6th-ranked Florida Southern to a 5-4 win over #4 Tampa Friday night, snapping the Spartans' 21-game Sunshine State Conference win streak. The Moccasins fell behind 3-0 and 4-1 before rallying for the road win. Omar Villaman led the comeback with two hits, three RBI and a run scored as the Moccasins improve to 38-8-1 overall and 21-7 in the SSC while the Spartans, who are ranked #1 in the NCBWA poll, fall to 37-8 and 26-2.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Florida Southern threatened in the top of the second as Villaman singled up the middle, but was erased on a fielder's choice with Hayden Marze reaching first. Following a flyout, Marze moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt by Tampa starter David Lebron but was left stranded as Lebron got a strikeout to end the frame.
The Moccasins loaded the bases in the third on a one-out single by Dylan Costa and two walks sandwiched around a flyout but could not capitalize as Lebron induced an inning-ending groundout.
Tampa got on the scoreboard first scoring three runs off Moccasin starter Logan Browning in the bottom of the third on a lead-off single, a one-out triple and a two-run home run by Darren Miller.
The Moccasins finally cracked the scoring board with a solo run in the top of the fifth. Pablo Cabrera drew a one-out walk while Austin Mauer singled to place runners on the corners. Omar Villaman then slapped a ball past the Tampa first base to drive in Cabrera and Marze was plunked with a pitch to load the bases, but Lebron got Teter to ground into a double play to end the rally.
Florida Southern loaded the bases once again in the sixth inning but again could not push across a run. Vaun Brown got a one-out single while Costa reached on an error. One strikeout later, Cabrera drew a walk to load the bases, but a strikeout ended the inning.
Tampa added a solo run in the bottom of the sixth on Miller's second homer of the night for a 4-1 Spartan lead.
The Moccasins took advantage of wildness by Tampa reliever Mark Moclair who came on to start the sixth inning. Villaman got on with a four-pitch walk and then moved to second on a wild pitch on a strikeout. He then stole third standing up and scored on another wild pitch by Moclair to cut into the Spartan lead, 4-2.
Florida Southern tied the game at 4-all in the eighth inning a Costa hit a one-out single and Burgess and Cabrera walked. Reliever Cheyne Bickel came on to get one strikeout with Villaman driving in two runs on a single to centerfield, but Cabrera was thrown out trying to take third base on the play.
The Moccasins went ahead 5-4 in the top of the ninth as Teter and Christian Maglich hit back-to-back singles to place runners on the corners with one out. Teter then scampered home on a wild pitch for the lead.
J.T. Hintzen came on to start the eighth inning and struck out three to remain undefeated at 12-0. The Spartans made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth as Harrison Bragg drew a lead-off walk. Hintzen then got a strikeout before Connor Crile hit one to the right side of the mound that looked like it may get through the infield, but the ball struck Bragg heading for second. Bragg was called out and Crile was credited with a base hit. Brandon Gali then beat out a chopper to third, but Hintzen got Richie Rivera to fly out to shallow left center to end the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Florida Southern leads the all-time series, 108-99, dating back to 1957. This is the fourth straight year the Moccasins have taken game one of the two team's three-game series.
Browning made his 46th career start for the Moccasins, which is fifth most all-time at Florida Southern. The Lakeland lefty struck out six and walked none in 7.0 innings of work. His six strikeouts give him 261 for his career, which is eighth-best for any Moccasin pitcher.
Marze has now been hit by a pitch 18 times this season, moving him into sole possession of third place on the FSC single-season listing.
Maglich's ninth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
Browning and Hintzen combined for nine strikeouts and one walk while three Tampa pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts, but also issued eight walks and had three wild pitches.
The Moccasins left 12 men on bases, twice leaving the bases loaded.
The Moccasins will wrap up the regular with a doubleheader at Tampa at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Florida Southern then awaits word on the NCAA postseason when bids are announced Sunday evening at NCAA.com.