SF BASEBALL – 4/20/2012
Gainesville, FL – The FCSAA #2/NJCAA #10 Santa Fe Saints (36-11, 18-5 MFC) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead Friday afternoon and never looked back, defeating the College of Central Florida Patriots 6-3 to claim their fourth straight Mid-Florida Conference title.
“I’m really proud of our guys, they always found a way to get it done” said SF Coach Johnny Wiggs. “To go 18-5 in the Mid-Florida Conference is a great credit to their effort the last couple months.”
Santa Fe ace Brad Markey (10-3, 1.45 ERA) started on the hill and pitched eight innings to earn his tenth win of the season. He scattered eight hits and struck out two, moving within one victory of Malcolm Clapsaddle’s Santa Fe season record 11 wins.
“Markey gave us another fantastic effort today,” said Wiggs. “He’s been big for us all season long. He wasn’t as sharp as his previous couple outings but made some big pitches in some big spots.”
Santa Fe opened the scoring in the first on a single to centerfield by Caleb Denmark, scoring Drew Doty from second.
The Saints jumped all over the Patriots (30-17, 15-8 MFC) in the third, scoring four runs on three hits and two CF errors. Jacob Tillotson doubled to deep centerfield to start the frame and Mallex Smith followed with a bunt base hit to put runners at first and third.
Tillotson scored the first run on a wild pitch and two batters later Caleb Denmark reached on a fielder’s choice when the Patriots second baseman attempted to start a double play and tossed the ball into left field, plating two runs. AJ Mazzurco delivered the fourth run of the inning, drilling a single to right field to give the Saints a 5-0 lead.
“The five early runs were really big for us,” said Wiggs. “It allowed Markey to really challenge their hitters and go right after them.”
Central Florida got on the board in the fifth with two runs, but Santa Fe answered with a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Drew Doty to push the margin to four.
The Patriots scored one in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate before SF closer Caleb Denmark finished off the game, inducing a fly out to center field to secure the MFC championship.
CF outhit Santa Fe 11-6 but failed to come up with the timely hits. Denmark finished the game 1-for-4 with two RBI, Mallex Smith was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base, Shane Kennedy was 1-for-3 with three walks, and AJ Mazzurco was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.
The regular season finale against Daytona set for Saturday, April 21 has been cancelled due to inclement weather. The game will not be made up. The Saints travel to Lakeland on May 3-7 for the double elimination FCSAA State Tournament.
MFC #1 seed Santa Fe plays the State College of Florida in round one action at 7:00 PM on Thursday, May 3. Every game of the tournament can be watched live on www.psblive.com.
For complete schedules and more information on Saints Baseball, please visit www.sfcollege.edu/athletics. To see game photos and other updates, follow Santa Fe College Athletics on Facebook.