April 23, 2019 – Tyler Jones and Emanuel Fernandez pitched well out of the bullpen and Garrett Mathes drove in six runs in the Santa Fe Saints 7-6 win over the Lake Hawks Monday afternoon in Leesburg.
Mathes hit a three-run double in the third and a three-run home run in the fourth to give the Saints an early lead, but it would take an unearned run in the 12th inning and strong pitching by the Saints bullpen to close out the win.
Connor Churchill started for the Saints but ran into control problems in the second inning and gave way to Jones who gave up only one earned run over seven innings while striking out seven batters. Fernandez (3-0) earned the win with three perfect innings, registering three strikeouts.
“Jones and Fernandez were really good today,” said SF head coach Johnny Wiggs. “They combined for 10 innings allowing just one earned run. Mathes really came through for us with his double and home run to drive in six.”
LSSC (22-25-1, 9-15 MFC) scored three unearned runs in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, but the Saints would take advantage of a Lake Hawk miscue in the 12th to score what proved to be the winning run.
Parker Biederer led off with a single and Jonathan Logsdon followed with a single to left that was misplayed allowing Biederer to score all the way from first with Logsdon ending up on second.
“Our guys are finishing the season strong having won 10 of the last 11 games and put us in the position we are in,” said Wiggs. “But we need to play better defense late in games moving forward.”
The Saints (34-14, 15-8 MFC) remain tied with St. Johns River State College and Seminole State College with all three teams winning Monday. The regular season will come to a close Tuesday with SF hosting Seminole State at 3 p.m. and The College of Central Florida facing SJRSC at 6 p.m. in Palatka.
Regardless of Tuesday’s results, all three teams will compete in the Mid-Florida Conference tournament scheduled to begin Friday. Tuesday’s results, however, could force a tiebreaker game to determine the final order of finish.
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