Michael Paul pitched four innings of shutout relief and the Saints bats came alive to score seven runs over their last three at bats to get an 8-3 win over Seminole State College Tuesday afternoon in Gainesville.
The Saints win coupled with a St. Johns River State College 6-3 loss in 10 innings in Palatka earns the Saints a second place finish in the Mid-Florida Conference for the regular season and home field advantage in the MFC Tournament set to begin Friday.
After winning just one of their first six MFC games the Saints went on to win 15 of their next 18 conference games.
"Our guys came a long way after our 1-5 start in conference," said SF head coach Johnny Wiggs. "They never gave up and kept working to achieve their goals."
The Saints (35-14, 16-8 MFC) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against the Raiders on Tuesday when Garrett Mathes and Cade Westbrook hit back-to-back, two-out doubles, but found themselves trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Parker Biederer got the comeback started when he led of the sixth with a single and moved to second on a walk to Isaiah Perry. Jonathan Logsdon followed with an RBI single and Caleb Stafford tied the game at 3-3 with a sacrifice bunt that scored Perry from third. Brock Edge gave the Saints a 4-3 lead with an RBI single to close out the scoring in the sixth.
The Saints added two more runs in the seventh and a pair in the eighth to get the win.
"We finished strong today and had some great at bats by multiple guys," said Wiggs. "Arguelles and Paul were super."
Anthony Arguelles started for the Saints and, except for three walks with all three of the runners scoring, pitched well through the fifth inning with nine strikeouts. Michael Paul (7-2) earned the win with four shutout innings of relief, allowing just three hits and registering four strikeouts.
Westbrook continued to swing a hot bat with three hits and two RBI in the game while Biederer, Perry and Edge had two hits apiece.
The MFC Tournament is scheduled to start on Friday when St. Johns River and Seminole face off with the winner advancing to a best-of-three series against the Saints with the first game scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Santa Fe.
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