May 8, 2015
Lakeland, FL – A fly ball lost in the lights and a passed ball were what did the Saints in on Friday night as they fell in a heart breaking extra inning game to Gulf Coast State College 6-5 in the first round of the FCSAA State Tournament. They will now move on to the elimination bracket on Saturday night at 7:00 PM against either Polk State or Northwest Florida State.
The Commodores started the scoring in the first with two runs off SF starting pitcher Trent Johnson, forcing the Saints (30-11) to play from behind immediately. Santa Fe answered with one run in the bottom of the first to cut the lead in half on a Jared Shouppe RBI single.
Gulf Coast added a run in the third inning to make it a two run deficit again for SF, and in the sixth SF's Cliff Bryant blasted a homerun to deep right field to make it 3-2.
In the eighth it looked like GC may pull away when they loaded the bases and scored twice with just one out, but Joey Stillwell stopped the bleeding for SF, holding the deficit at 5-2.
In the bottom half of the eighth Tyler Kinney picked a good time to hit his first home run of the season, clearing the right field wall with a runner on to make it 5-4.
Stillwell held serve in the top of the ninth, sending the game to the bottom of the ninth. Cliff Bryant stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner at second and connected on a single up the middle, scoring Chandler Rodriguez to tie the game at 5-5.
Santa Fe had chances in the extra frames, loading the bases with just one out in the top of the tenth, but failed to get the runner home. Gulf Coast took advantage and with two outs and nobody on hit a deep flyball to center that was lost in the lights, putting a runner on third. Two pitches later a passed ball scored the sixth and eventual deciding run of the game.
SF came up empty in the bottom of the 11th inning, falling by one to the Commodores.
The Saints will now await the loser of the Northwest Florida State and Polk State game. The elimination game will take place on Saturday, May 9 at 7:00 PM.
The tournament is double elimination and every game can be seen live at www.psblive.com. For full tournament details, visit http://thefcsaasports.com/championships/fcsaa_baseball_tournament
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For complete schedules and more information on Saints Baseball, please visit www.santafesaints.com. To see game photos and other updates, follow Santa Fe College Athletics on Facebook.