A day after clinching a spot in the FCSAA Tournament, the Santa Fe Saints (35-5, 16-2 MFC) secured their grip on first place in the Mid-Florida Conference, defeating second place St. John’s River State 5-1 to move ahead three games in the standings. The lone SJR (35-9, 13-5 MFC) run came in the first inning on a two out wild pitch. From there, Kyle Morton shutdown the potent offense of the Vikings, allowing just five hits over the next six innings. Troy Bacon pitched the ninth inning, striking out three. St. John’s did not have a hit over the final four innings. Morton went eight innings in his best performance of the season, striking out three.
“Kyle really picked a great time to pitch his best game all season,” said Santa Fe College Coach Johnny Wiggs. “He really competes on the mound and what a great day for him to step up.”
The Saints didn’t tie the score until the fifth when Danny Hernandez singled in Wyatt Meisterhans who doubled to start the inning. In the sixth, Hugo Valdes started a rally with a single and two batters. Later, Stephen Smith had a pinch hit single. Meisterhans drove in the go ahead run with a sac fly, and Kyle Phillips singled in a run for a 3-1 lead.
Tyler Kinney gave the Saints some insurance runs in the eighth, driving in a pair of runs. Bacon tossed a scoreless ninth to end the game.
The win is the third straight for Santa Fe over St. John’s. The Saints won the first in Palatka 4-0, and the next in Gainesville 8-5. The teams will meet one more time April 18 in Palatka.
Meisterhans finished 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI, and Kyle Phillips was 3-for-3.
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