A day after surrendering 21 hits to the #1 team in the nation, the Santa Fe Saints (22-6, 9-2 MFC) pitching staff bounced back in a big way, with Trent Johnson (6-1) and Call Graham combining to allow six hits and three runs to the high powered St. John’s River State College (31-6, 9-2 MFC) offense.
“This was a great bounce back win for us,” said SF Coach Johnny Wiggs. “Trent Johnson was his normal consistent self and Call had really good stuff despite a few walks.”
Johnson tossed seven quality innings, striking out three and scattering six hits, just one for extra bases. Call Graham collected his seventh save of the season with two scoreless innings.
The NJCAA #11 Saints opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Cole Parks and a RBI double by Tyler Kinney. They added another run in the fifth on a double steal with Nick Horvath stealing home and Jared Shouppe taking second to draw the throw, allowing Horvath to sneak into home.
SJRSC got on the board in the sixth with two runs and the Saints made it a two run game again in the eighth when nine hole hitter Nick Horvath came up with a big two out RBI single to score Hugo Valdes.
The Vikings answered with a run in the eighth, but Nick Horvath stopped it right there when he threw out Nate Lowe at the plate to preserve the SF lead at 4-3.
In the ninth Chandler Rodriguez and Jared Shouppe started the frame with singles, and two batters later after a successful sacrifice bunt by Matt Allen, the St. John’s pitcher tossed a wild pitch, scoring Rodriguez and the next batter Cliff Bryant knocked home Shouppe with an RBI single for two important insurance runs.
Call Graham walked two in the ninth but settled in to get a game ending ground out to Tyler Kinney at second base.
“Getting those two insurance runs in the ninth was big for us,” said Wiggs. “Jared Shouppe continues to see the ball well and it was nice to see Bryant get a couple hits and a big RBI.”
Shouppe finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored, Bryant was 2-for-5 with a RBI, and Matt Allen finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The Saints and Vikings will play the rubber match of their three game series on Monday, March 30 at 6:00 PM in Palatka. Fans can listen live at www.sjrvikings.com
To follow along with live stats for every game, click here.
For complete schedules and more information on Saints Baseball, please visit www.santafesaints.com. To see game photos and other updates, follow Santa Fe College Athletics on Facebook.