TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 10, 2016) – Ethan Crout drove in all three runs and two pitchers combined to hold Santa Fe College to five hits as Tallahassee Community College opened a 13-game homestand with a 3-1 win over the Saints on Wednesday afternoon.
Tallahassee, playing its first game as the No. 1 team in the Region 8 Baseball Coaches' Poll, bounced back from Monday's 8-7 loss at Santa Fe to split the home-and-home series and improve to 10-1. The No. 5 Saints are now 7-2.
The Eagles and Saints played to a 7-7 tie three-and-a-half innings into Monday's series opener. Since then, it's been all about the pitching. On Wednesday, Tallahassee called on lefty Felix Dieguez while Santa Fe rolled out nine-game winner and first-team All-Mid-Florida Conference performer from 2015 Trent Johnson.
The game was scoreless into the fifth when Tallahassee finally broke through against Johnson.
Kyle Cavanaugh drew a leadoff walk to start the inning and moved into scoring position on Deyvid Silva's single. Josh Nothdorft's sac-bunt advanced both runners and, three batters later, Crout singled home both Cavanaugh and Silva for a 2-0 lead.
Santa Fe mounted its biggest scoring threat in the sixth.
After walking two batters, Dieguez exited in favor of Brooks Buckler, who walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. Buckler settled down, however, and retired cleanup hitter Chad Stockdale on a ground out to second to keep the Saints off the board.
Buckler allowed two hits and struck out five over the final 3.1 innings to record the save and preserve the win Dieguez (3-0), who held the Saints to three hits over the first 5.2 innings.
Tallahassee added an insurance run in the seventh when Crout singled home Manny Chavarria.
Tallahassee will open a three-game series against Shelton (Ala.) State Community College at 4 p.m. Friday.