LAKELAND, FL - Pablo Cabrera went a combined 5-for-9, hit a home run, and drove in five on Senior Day, but Florida Southern College baseball dropped both games of a doubleheader to No. 9 Tampa on Saturday (7-4, 7-5) at Henley Field. The Moccasins (23-27, 9-21 SSC) put together a late rally in the first game and jumped out to an early lead in the second, but the Spartans (36-14, 19-11) were able to take the series by winning both games.
Cooper Bradford (1-7) took the loss for the Mocs in game one, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in 6.0 innings. He struck out seven and walked four. Mason Duke (9-0) picked up the win for the Spartans by surrendering two runs on four hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out five, while Tyler Beck picked up his 10th save of the year by tossing the final three innings.
In the second game, Logan Verrino (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing a pair of runs in three innings in relief. Jacinto Arredondo (2-1) earned the win for Tampa after surrendering just one run on four hits in 5.0 innings in relief. The Moccasins honored their eight-member senior class prior to the first game. This year's senior class consisted of; Pablo Cabrera, Cole Crowder, Isaiah Cullum, Ryan Frost, Alex Goebel, Alex Hammond, Jacob Kelley, and Leo Rodriguez.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE
- Tampa jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning to put Florida Southern in an early hole. After a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases, Danny Blair would come in to score on a catcher's interference call on what looked like strike three to Danny Sirven. Bradford was able to retire the next two batters but gave up a two-run single to Alec Aleywine that gave the Spartans a three-run advantage.
- Southern was able to pull within one in the bottom of the third when Cabrera hit a towering blast to left with a runner on first to make it 3-2. The home run was the 10th of his career and gave him 100 career RBI.
- After a scoreless fourth, the Spartans were able to push their lead back to two (4-2) when Sirven singled through the right side with runners on first and second to plate one. Tampa almost had a chance for more, but Yorvis Torrealba was thrown at trying to advance to third on a 9-2-5 putout.
- Torrealba made up for his baserunning gaffe with a two-out solo homer in the seventh to make it 5-2, and Stephen Smith's two-run shot to right in the eighth inning put the Spartans up by five (7-2).
- Zach Scott led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch before scoring on Jacob Teter's single to right to make it 7-3. Goebel would single through the left side with two outs to put runners on first and second, but Ricky Gonzalez struck out to end the threat.
- The bottom of the ninth looked promising for the Mocs as Cullum doubled to left to open the frame and move to third on Vaun Brown's single to right. Cabrera would plate another run with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 7-4, but Beck retired the final two batters to close out the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO
- It was Florida Southern's turn to jump on top early in the second game as the Mocs scored twice in the bottom of the first. Cabrera singled to lead things off, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Scott's double to left center. After retiring the next batter, the Spartans allowed the Moccasins to score again when Teter reached on a throwing error and Scott came all the way around from second to make it 2-0.
- Neither team would score in the second, but Tampa was able to tie things up with solo shots in the third and fourth off the bats of Torrealba and Cole Perry. Cabrera put the Mocs back up by two (4-2) when he singled with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth.
- An RBI single from Sirven in the top of the fifth made it 4-3, and the Spartans were able to tie things at 4-4 when Torrealba scored on a double play with the bases loaded and no outs.
- Sirven would put the Spartans up for good with an RBI double in the seventh to break the tie, and Stevie Mangrum drove in another with an RBI single through the left side to make it 6-4. Goebel pulled the Mocs within one on his one-out RBI single in the bottom of the inning, but Torrealba came up big for the Spartans with a leadoff solo homer in the ninth to put the Spartans up by two (7-5).
- Cabrera gave the Mocs life with a one-out double in the bottom of the ninth, but Florida Southern was unable to take advantage as the final two batters went down in order to end the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 112-102 all-time against Tampa, including a 63-46 record when facing the Spartans at home.
- Cabrera finished his career with 211 hits in 195 games played. He ranks eighth in school history in games played, and is just the 18th player in program history with at least 200 career hits.
- Seven of Florida Southern's seniors played in Saturday's doubleheader. Rodriguez, who tossed two innings on Friday night to pick up his 16th career save, did not appear in either game on Saturday.