The FCSAA #1/Perfect Game #9 Santa Fe Saints (29-4, 10-1 MFC) rallied twice on Monday afternoon in Gainesville against #3/#10 St. John’s River State, overcoming the Vikings in the late innings for an 8-5 victory. The win is their second in a row over SJRSC, coming on the heels of Saturday’s 4-0 shutout in Palatka.
Santa Fe started fast, building a 3-0 lead after two complete innings. SF plated two in the first on back to back RBI singles by Hugo Valdes and Stephen Smith, and another in the second on a wild pitch.
The Vikings (30-7, 11-3 MFC) slowly fought back, scoring a run in the third, and two more in the fifth to tie the score at 3-3. They broke the tie in the sixth inning with one run on a single by Nick Owens.
Santa Fe designated hitter Alex Goebel blasted a home run in the bottom of the sixth to knot the game back up at 4-4, but just a half inning later Matthew Rhodes hit one out over the left field fence for the 5-4 Vikings lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Valdes once again came up big, doubling in the tying run, and Stephen Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Saints back the lead 6-5. Goebel knocked a two out RBI single to left for the third run of the inning and a 7-5 advantage.
Brandon Hernandez gave the Saints an insurance run in the eighth with a RBI single to left, and Troy Bacon finished off the win on the mound with a scoreless ninth, his eighth save of the season. Call Graham picked up the win, tossing 2.2 innings in relief.
Santa Fe’s four, five, and six batters, Valdes, Smith, and Goebel, were a combined 5-for-11 with six RBI and two runs scored. Brandon Hernandez, Robbie Hanlon, and Cole Parks also had two hits each.
The Saints will head out on the road Wednesday, March 30 for the first of a three game series with Florida State College-Jacksonville. First pitch with the Blue Wave is scheduled for 3 pm.
For complete schedules, stats, and more information please visit www.santafesaints.com