LAKELAND, FL - A pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning gave Florida Southern College baseball an early 2-0 lead, but the Moccasins (17-13, 3-8 SSC) were unable to keep Embry-Riddle's bats silent in an 8-5 loss on Saturday afternoon at Rodda Stadium at Henley Field. The Eagles (19-10, 8-3) used a five-run fifth inning to jump in front 6-2 and held off a late rally by the Mocs to earn their fifth-straight win in Sunshine State Conference action.
Cooper Bradford (1-3) started off strong for Souther by striking out four of the first seven batters he faced but ran into trouble in the fifth inning when ERAU struck for five runs on a pair of RBI singles and a three-run blast to left. He allowed six runs on nine hits in 7.0 innings with four walks and eight strikeouts. Garrett Goodall (5-0) picked up the win for the Eagles by allowing just two runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings with a walk and five strikeouts.
The teams will conclude their three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Henley Field.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI groundout and a one-run single. Zach Diewert led off the inning with a single to left and advanced to third on Alan Burnsed's double. Diewert came in to score when Isaiah Cullum grounded out to third, and Burnsed crossed the plate on Austin Huber's single in the next at-bat.
- Embry-Riddle was kept off the board until the top of the fourth when Zach Howard brought in a run on a one-out single to center following back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. The Eagles nearly scored more, but Cole Habig lined into a double play with runners on first and second to end the inning.
- Bradford allowed a leadoff single and walked the second batter in the top of the fifth to put two on with no outs for the Eagles, but was able to get the next two batters out and looked like he might escape unscathed. However, Embry-Riddle got back-to-back RBI singles from Kyle Marsh and Kirk Sidwell, and Luis Olivier hammered a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to give the Eagles a 6-2 lead.
- Embry-Riddle tacked on two more runs on an RBI double and a sacrifice fly in the ninth to take an 8-2 lead and looked as if it had the game wrapped up. Florida Southern was able to load the bases in the ninth thanks to a leadoff single from Cody Duke and back-to-back walks drawn by Diewert and Burnsed. Cullum's sac fly to right scored Duke from third and slice the deficit to five (8-3). Huber's double brought Deiwert in to score to make it 8-4 and Pablo Cabrera hit a two-out single to left to bring Burnsed across the plate to make it a three-run game.
- Zach Scott stepped to the plate as the tying run with two outs and worked the count full with the go-ahead run on deck. He was able to put a charge into a 3-2 pitch, but did not get quite enough as ERAU center field Kyle Guttveg was able to track the ball down just shy of the warning track for the final out.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 14-6 all-time against Embry-Riddle, including a 7-5 mark when facing the Eagles at home.
- Despite going 0-for-3, Jacob Teter reached base safely for the 30th game in a row when he drew a walk in the first inning.
- Cabrera finished 3-for-5 to pick up his 193rd career hit. He needs 35 more to crack the top 10 in school history.
- After committing 30 errors in their first 25 games, the Mocs went perfect in the field on Saturday and have committed just one error in the last five games.
- Florida Southern and Embry-Riddle conclude their three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Mocs are back home next week for a three-game set against Rollins (April 5-7).