LAKELAND - Vaun Brown hit a three-run homer to break a 4-4 tie and power second-ranked Florida Southern to a 7-4 win over No. 9 Nova Southeastern in the opening game of a three-game Sunshine State Conference series played here Friday at Henley Field. The win lifts the Moccasins to 35-5-1 overall and 18-4 in the conference while the Sharks see their 17-game conference win streak snapped to drop to 29-11 overall and 21-4 in the SSC.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Nova Southeastern jumped on Moccasin starter Logan for two quick runs in the top of the first as Dylan Harris, son of former Florida Southern All-American pitcher David Harris (1993-94), singled to left field while Nicolas Gallo doubled him in. Gallo was sacrificed to third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Anchia.
- Florida Southern answered with three runs in the bottom of the first frame off NSU starter Devin Conn. Cody Burgess led off the inning with his 11th homer of the season, marking the third time this season he has led off for the Moccasins with a home run. Pablo Cabrera followed with a single while Austin Mauer walked. One out later, Christian Maglich and Jacob Teter hit back-to-back singles for a 3-2 Moccasin lead.
- Hayden Marze gave Florida Southern a 4-2 lead when he hit his SSC-leading 18th homer of the season with one out in the third. He is now two shy of tying Jhalan Jackson's school record of 20 set in 2015. The junior designated hitter increased his conference-leading total to 58 runs batted in.
- The Sharks tied the game in the fourth inning on back-to-back homers by Samuel Duran and Nathan Chevalier.
- Nova Southeastern threatened in the fifth, drawing two consecutive walks to start the inning and then loading the bases on an infield singled. Browning settled down and struck out Ian Acevedo and got Christian Dembry to hit a ground to first that Teter fielded and fired home to cut down the lead runner. Browning then got Duran out on a called strike three to end the threat.
- J.T. Hintzen came on to start the seventh in relief of Browning and after surrendering a lead-off double allowed just one walk the rest of the way to earn his 10th win against zero losses.
- The Sharks also went to the bullpen in the bottom of the inning, bringing in Ryan Maya. After two groundouts, Maya walked Teter and Magliuch and then surrendered Brown's home run for the final 7-4 margin.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern leads the all-time series, 42-31, including a 23-12 advantage in games played at Henley Field.
- Browning worked 6.0 innings and recorded seven strikeouts and now has 249 career strikeouts, which is the 10th highest total ever recorded in any Moccasin career.
- Burgess's first-inning homer ties him with 10 others for eighth place on the Moccasins' single-season list. It is also the 25th of his career, tying him with Wade Kirkland (2007-10) for sixth place on FSC's all-time career list.
- With three homers in the game, Florida Southern now has 66 on the season, the sixth-highest total in Moccasin history.
- Teter had two hits on the day to extend his hitting streak to 12 games while Marze and two hits to extend his hit streak to nine games.
- With a 10-0 record, Hintzen is vying to become just the fifth pitcher in FSC history to have an undefeated season with 10 or more wins. He entered the week tied for third in the NCAA Division II with nine victories.
- Dylan Costa led the Moccasins with three hits and is now 15-for-36 (.417) over his last nine games.
- Eight of the nine Florida Southern batters had at least one hit as the Moccasins outhit the Sharks, 12-7.
- The Mocs and the Sharks continue their three-game series with a single game Saturday at 3 p.m. before closing out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Florida Southern will play its final regular season home games on May 3-4 against Saint Leo.