Winter Haven, FL – The FCSAA #1 Santa Fe Saints took their first loss of the season on Wednesday afternoon at the hands of the defending FCSAA Champions Polk State College, 2-1. The Eagles scored the winning run in the eight with a single, scoring the runner from second after a balk had been called on SF reliever Derek Vail. The score was a far cry from the team’s first meeting of the season when Santa Fe (7-1) crushed the Eagles 23-9 on January 30 in Gainesville.
Josh Larson (1-1) started on the hill for Santa Fe and pitched seven innings, allowing just one first inning run and struck out eight.
“Josh was outstanding tonight and got stronger as the game went on,” said SF Coach Johnny Wiggs. “We very easily could have had a shut out tonight. We put both of their runners in scoring position with an error on a pickoff in the first inning and a questionable balk call in the eighth. That said, offensively we have to put together more quality at bats and put more pressure on their defense to make plays.”
Polk put one across in the first inning on a single to grab the early 1-0 lead. Eagles starter Colyn O’Connell shut down the Santa Fe bats for five innings before giving way to reliever Doug Wright.
In the eighth the Saints finally scratched across a run against Wright to tie the score at 1-1 on a two out RBI single by Casey Scoggins, scoring Josh Stewart who had doubled earlier in the inning.
The Eagles managed one in the bottom of the eighth to break the tie and closer Trey Norris pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to finish off the win.
Scoggins finished the game 2-for-4 with a RBI and Josh Stewart was 2-for-2 with a double.
The Saints host St. Petersburg College on Friday, February 8 at 3:00 PM and South Florida State College comes to Gainesville for a double header on Saturday, February 9 at 12 noon.