A seven-run fifth inning and shutdown pitching propelled the Santa Fe Saints to a 13-2 win over Hillsborough CC Friday afternoon in Tampa in the season opener for both teams.
With the Saints holding a 2-1 lead heading into the fifth, Brock Edge drew a walk to get things started and Jarrod Cande, Garrett Mathes and Jonathan Logsdon followed with singles to quickly put the Saints up 4-1. Parker Biederer and Cade Westbrook also had RBI singles in the inning and the Saints found themselves with a 9-1 lead.
"We took advantage of some freebies to pull away," said SF Head Coach Johnny Wiggs. "We were able to string some hits together at key times."
Meanwhile, Donovan Benoit grounded the Hawks, going six innings while allowing just four hits and one run and striking out three. Wiggs said the University of Tennessee transfer provided just what the offense needed through the early innings. "Donovan was really sharp today," said Wiggs. "He gave our hitters time to settle in and do some damage in the middle innings."
Former Santa Fe High School standout Garrett McCranie pitched scoreless ball through the seventh and eighth and former Keystone Heights HS standout Austin Bass finished things up on the mound allowing an unearned run in the ninth.
Edge closed out the scoring for the Saints with a grand slam home run in the ninth. Logsdon had three hits on the day while Biederer and Kyler Marquis had two apiece.
"It was great to get off to good start to the season," said Wiggs.
The Saints (1-0) will host South Georgia State College for a doubleheader in their home opener Saturday with the first pitch of game one scheduled for 12 noon.
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