MIAMI SHORES – Jason Sierra collected five hits, including a go-ahead homer to lead off the 10th inning as 22nd-ranked Florida Southern outlasted Barry, 12-10 in ten innings, in game one of a Sunshine State Conference doubleheader here Monday at Feinbloom Field. In game two, A.J. Smith struck out six in 6-1/3 innings as Florida Southern completed the sweep of the twin bill, winning 6-3.
In the opening games, Florida Southern (30-16 overall and 12-9 in the SSC) grabbed the lead five times in the game with Barry (24-25 overall and 8-16 in the SSC) answering each time but the last.
The Moccasins' Shawn Sanders got things in motion for FSC with a double to lead off the game which took over four hours and twenty minutes to play. A walk by Sam Machonis later, Mitch Reeves drove in Sanders with a single while Machonis come across to score on a sacrifice fly by Dominic Brugnoni. Sierra then got his first of his five hits, a single up the middle before Blake Swann singled to drive in Logan Browning and give FSC a 3-0 lead.
Barry came back in the bottom of the first collecting four straight hits and two walks to chase Browning who made his shortest start of the season, retiring just the first Barry batter of the game on a fly out. The Buccaneers finished with four runs in the inning to take a 4-1 lead–one on a single, two on bases loaded walks, and the fourth on a hit batsman by reliever Ryan Welsh.
Neither team scored in the second, but the Moccasins went ahead 6-4 on Swann's three-run homer in the top of the third. However, Barry answered with a three-run homer of its own off the bat of Alexander DeGoti to hand the lead back to Buccaneers, 7-6.
Sierra collected his third hit of the game in the fourth to drive in Reeves to knot the game at 7-all. But, yet again, Barry answered with a RBI-double by Khali Denson to go ahead 8-7.
Browning put the Mocs back ahead 9-8 with a two-run double in the fifth, scoring David Lugo and Machonis, who had both singled. But, alas, Barry did it again, tying the game on a RBI-double from Ramon Valdez.
After both teams failed to score in the sixth and seventh, Brugnoni tripled to lead off the eighth for Florida Southern and scored on Sierra's fourth single of the day as the Moccasins went ahead 10-9. The Buccaneers knotted the game again on another RBI-double, this time by Junior Abreu.
After a scoreless ninth, Sierra led off the 10th with a blast over the left field fence for his fourth round-tripper of the season. Sanders gave the Moccasins an insurance run later in the inning with a run-scoring single.
Mitch McCarthy took the win for Florida Southern, improving to 3-0. The sidewinder tossed 2-2/3 scoreless innings, limiting Barry to two singles.
In addition to Sierra's five hits, Sanders and Machonis each had three hits while Reeves, Swann and Lugo each had two hits. Swann totalled four RBI while Browning and Sierra both drive in three runs a piece.
In the second game, Smith (1-2) held the Buccaneers to just one run on four hits in the first five innings before surrendering a pair of runs in the seventh.
Meanwhile, his teammates gave him a three-run lead to work with in the first inning as Sanders led off the game with a single and Machonis followed with his 10th homer of the year. Two outs later, Brugnoni and Sierra hit back-to-back singles for the 3-0 lead.
FSC increased its lead to 5-3 as Machonis drew a walk to open the fifth and scored on a double by Reeves, who himself would score on a Browning single. The Moccasins added their sixth run in the sixth as Pablo Cabrera singled to lead off the inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Machonis.
Brady Arenson came on in relief of Smith with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh. After allowing a run to score on a sacrifice fly, Arenson got the final out of the inning on a line drive to Sanders at second base.
Browning had three hits in game two, while Sanders, Reeves and Brugnoni each had two hits.
The senior lefty allowed three straight singles with one out in the eighth, but struck out Alexis Monge to end the threat and set down the Buccaneers in order in the ninth.
Florida Southern will close out the regular season at home on Friday and Saturday with a single game Friday night at 6 and a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Prior to the first game Saturday, the Moccasins will honor their ten senior players.