CF Patriots Defeat Daytona State 10-3
The Central Florida Patriots (33-3) scattered 14 hits amongst eight hitters in a 10-3 victory against the Daytona State College Falcons (14-16) on Wednesday afternoon.
Both starting pitchers, Daytona State’s Sean Sparling and Central Florida’s Andrew Herrmann, started their outings with a scoreless first inning. Daytona State drew first blood in the top of the second when Devon Nowells drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw from Herrmann.
Joseph Becker drove in Nowells with a single to right field to give Daytona State a 1-0 lead. Central Florida did not let the lead last for long as Juan Correa led off the home half of the second with a single and Carson Bayne was hit by a pitch.
Kareh Valentin followed Bayne with a single to left field and Kainen Jorge drove in Correa with a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game.
With regular starters Bradke Lohry and John Marant out with injuries, utility player Michael Guilliams got the start at third base. With runners on second and third with one out, Guilliams singled to center to give Central Florida a 3-1 lead.
“I was seeing the ball well, fouled off a couple of tough pitches and just doing my job,” Guilliams said.
Edwin Toribio capped off the big inning with a run-scoring single to center to extend Central Florida’s lead to 4-1.
Central Florida added on two more runs in the bottom of the third via a Kareh Valentin run-scoring double down the left field line and another run-scoring single from Guilliams.
Correa gave Central Florida a 7-1 lead when he ripped a run-scoring triple down the right field line in the bottom of the fourth inning. Daytona State answered back in the top of the fifth on a two-run home run by Hayden Henry.
Central Florida would answer back immediately with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a run-scoring single from Cole Bullen and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Thad Ector. With a 9-3 lead in hand, Herrmann started off the top of the sixth by retiring consecutive hitters on strikeouts but ran into trouble allowing a single to Becker and a walk to Adam Parzych.
Austin Eppley would come in to relieve Herrmann with a groundout to get out of the jam. Kainen Jorge drove in his second run of the day with a run-scoring single to left field in the bottom of the six to give Central Florida a 10-3 lead.
Eppley would work around a base hit and a walk to throw a scoreless seventh inning and Bryce Roth fired a scoreless seventh for Daytona State. Emmanuel Dooley finished off the victory with two scoreless innings and five strikeouts.
Leading the way for the Central Florida offense was Guilliams (two hits, three RBIs, two runs and two walks), Jorge (two hits, two RBIs, run and a walk) and Bayne (two hits, three runs scored and a walk). Herrmann picked up the win with 5.2 innings pitched, two earned runs and five strikeouts.
Herrmann was determined to buckle down and have a lengthy outing to give the bullpen some rest with heavy workload of four games last week.
“I competed, I don’t think I had my best stuff but I competed and wanted to give the team a chance to win. We’re a little short on arms right now and I just wanted to help our team have a chance to win the series on Friday,” Herrmann said.
Central Florida head coach Marty Smith noted the opportunity some players got with the injured starters out and feels it will be beneficial in the long run.
“Guilliams swung the bat well, Kainen (Jorge) had good at-bats and everybody just worked hard at the plate to grind out the win. Herrmann gave us a good start, Eppley and Dooley came in and did a great job getting outs,” Smith said.
He added: “Its good that they are all getting experience in conference games because we need everybody and this experience will have them ready to go,” Smith said.
The Patriots (#5 ranked junior college baseball team in the United States), will return to the diamond on Friday at Daytona State at 1 p.m.