LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College baseball jumped out to an early three-run lead, but late inning defensive miscues proved costly in an 8-5 loss to Barry in the Sunshine State Conference opener on Friday at John Rodda Stadium at Henley Field. The No. 13 Moccasins (6-3, 0-1 SSC) led 4-1 after three innings, but the Buccaneers (6-3, 2-2) tied things up in the fourth, scored one in the sixth and seventh, and plated two more in the eighth to seal the win.
Cooper Bradford (0-1) suffered the loss for the Mocs after allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in six innings of work, and Southern was unable to take advantage of a two-on, no-out situation in the bottom of the ninth as Hugo Casilla picked up the save for Barry. Frank Gonzalez (2-0) got the win for the Buccaneers despite allowing season highs in runs (4) and hits (9).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got off to a fast start when it took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but could have had more as it left a runner stranded on third. After Pablo Cabrera stroked a one-out single up the middle, Zach Scott plated the first run of the game when he doubled down the left line. Scott would advance to third on Jacob Teter's fly ball to right, but Zach Diewert lined out to left to end the threat as the Mocs led 1-0 after one inning.
- After a scoreless second inning, Barry would tie things up in the top half of the third on a two-out RBI single to left. Southern answered emphatically in the bottom of the third when Vaun Brown led off with a double to left and scored on Ryan Frost's RBI single through the right side. Following a walk to Cabrera, Scott brought in another run on a single up the middle that scored Frost and put Cabrera on third. Teter singled in the next at-bat to load the bases and Diewert brought in a run with a sac fly, but the Mocs were unable to bring in any more runs and led 4-1 headed into the fourth.
- With two outs and a runner on second base, the Buccaneers sliced the deficit to one (4-2) on Deyvid Silva's RBI single up the middle and plated two more on JC Garcia's single three batters later. The damage could have been more had Moccasin catcher Cody Duke not made a heads-up play and thrown out Joel Alvarez, who attempted to go from first to third on Garcia's hit, to end the inning with the score at 4-4 after five innings.
- A series of defensive miscues in the next two innings would lead to a pair of Barry runs. The Bucs scored on a passed ball in the top of the sixth and a single following a second passed ball in the seventh to take a 6-4 advantage.
- Florida Southern got one back in the bottom of the seventh in Diewert's second RBI single of the day, but the Buccaneers plated two more runs in the eighth on a wild pitch and a throwing error and Casilla recorded three-straight outs after allowing the first two batters to reach in the bottom of the ninth to give Barry the win.
- The Moccasins slugged out 11 hits, but committed two errors, had four passed balls, and threw four wild pitches. The Bucs finished with 10 hits and three errors. Scott led all players with three hits in a 3-for-4 effort, while Teter and Ricky Gonzalez each had two. Chase Pilato tossed one inning in relief and allowed one run on three hits, while Ryan Langford gave up two runs (one earned) on one hit and four walks in the seventh.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 77-21 all-time against Barry, including 39-11 when facing the Bucs at Henley Field.
- Cabrera, who went 1-for-4 on Friday, needs just 45 more hits to move into the top 10 in school history. He has recorded 183 hits in four seasons, with a career-best 71 last year.
- Diewert has a hit in all nine games this season. He leads the Mocs in batting average (.452), doubles (5), home runs (2), and RBI (9). Cabrera, Diewert, and Teter have all reached base safely in each game this year.
- Prior to Friday's game, Florida Southern College officially dedicated John Rodda Field in a pregame ceremony. The College announced on Thursday that the grandstand area at Henley Field would be named in honor of the late John Rodda, former FSC trustee, Moccasin assistant baseball coach, and founder of Rodda Construction.
- Florida Southern and Barry will close out the three-game series with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Mocs are back in action next week for three games against Kentucky Wesleyan.