Posted: Mar 07, 2020
TAMPA, Fla.- One season ago, the Florida SouthWestern State Baseball team stole a school record 13 bases in a game against the Hillsborough Hawks. Saturday, they were at it again against their Suncoast Conference rivals, swiping 12 bags and exploding for 13 runs in the final four innings to hammer the Hawks 15-5 in the first of a three game series between the two.
Hillsborough scored first in this one, using a pair of 1st inning singles and a walk to go in front early 1-0. Later in the frame an FSW error allowed the Hawks to score their second run of the inning, putting the home team ahead 2-0 after one inning of action.
Jose Marcano singled to lead off the FSW 2nd and stole third later in the inning before scoring on a throwing error to make it a 2-1 game. Two pitches later Kalvin Alexander continued his hot stretch at the plate with an RBI single to even the score up at 2-2.
Hillsborough took the lead back in the 3rd, using a leadoff double and a one out single to go back in front 3-2.
It remained that way until the 6th when the Bucs started to figure things out against the Hawks arms. Noah Heisler doubled home a run to even the score at 3 before scoring himself on an RBI single back up the middle from Daniel Maldonado to make it 4-3 FSW. With two outs in the inning Tommy Joseph pulled a ball through the hole on the right side to score the Bucs third run of the frame to give them a 5-3 lead after six.
The Bucs continued to add to their lead in the 7th as Matthew Corpas singled home a run and Jared Campbell did the same to make it a 7-3 game. They stretched their lead to 8-3 on an RBI double from Cameran Brantley and then made it a 9-3 game when Connor Bangieski singled to left to drive home Brantley for their fourth run of the frame.
Hillsborough got two back in the bottom of the 7th, but FSW answered right back with a two spot of their own in the 8th thanks to some aggressive baserunning to make it 11-5.
The Bucs put it away in the 9th, getting back to back bases loaded walks followed by a bases full hit batter to stretch their lead to 15-5 and Alan Mercado did the rest out of the bullpen to shut it down in the 9th to give the Bucs the win in the series opener.
FSW had 15 hits and walked 10 times in the victory while also stealing a season high 12 bases. Every Buc starter had at least one hit or one RBI while seven of the nine had both a hit and an RBI. Marcano had a big game, going 2-4 with three runs scored and three stolen bases while Joseph and Bagnieski combined at the top of the order for five hits and reached base eight times between the two of them. Grant Besser was the benefactor of the offensive outburst, earning the win by going six innings and allowing six hits and three runs while striking out seven to improve to 3-1 on the year. Daniel Vos and Mercado each threw scoreless innings out of the FSW bullpen in the win.
FSW improves to 16-9 overall and 3-1 in Suncoast Conference action with the win while Hillsborough falls back to .500 at 13-13 overall and 2-2 in league play.
The same two teams get together on Monday at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers in game two of the series which is scheduled for a 6 PM first pitch.