February 2, 2016
Gainesville, FL – The Santa Fe Saints and starting pitcher Robert Girgis fell behind 2-0 after a rocky first inning, but righted the ship, tossing eight straight scoreless innings, giving the offense plenty of time to come alive and rally for a 4-2 win. The victory keeps the Saints undefeated on the season at 4-0.
Girgis settled in after allowing two run on two hits, a walk, and a hit batter in the first, throwing four shutout innings, scattering three hits, and striking out four. Chris Hopkins made his second multi inning relief appearance of the season, shutting down the Hawks for the final four innings to earn the win, making him 2-0. Hopkins allowed just two hits, struck out four, and needed just 41 pitches to get it done.
Santa Fe got on the board in the fourth, scoring on a bases loaded double play to cut the lead to 2-1. Two innings later, SF plated another run on a double play to tie the score at 2-2.
"We had some really good opportunities early with bases loaded and no one out, and first and third with no one out, but we couldn't come up with the big hit," said SF Coach Johnny Wiggs. "I'm proud of the way our guys kept going up there and battling in the late innings. Eventually they got it done when we needed it."
The Saints broke the tie in the eighth, plating two runs, all after the Hawks retired the first two batters of the inning. Hugo Valdes had the game winning hit, and Stephen Smith added the insurance with a RBI double.
"I'm very proud of the way Girgis bounced back after the first inning to give us four scoreless," said SF Coach Johnny Wiggs. "We got two big RBI hits from Valdes and Smith, both of whom came off the bench. It was a great lesson for our guys to always be ready for your opportunity. On top of that Hopkins was terrific, pounding the strike zone for four shutout innings."
The Saints will be back home this weekend for a Friday game against Pasco-Hernando State College at 3:00 PM, and a double header on Saturday against South Florida State College starting at noon.
For complete schedules, stats, and more information please visit www.santafesaints.com.