Nova Southeastern downs West Florida
Boyd collects two hits, drives in two runs to lead Sharks to win
TAMPA, Fla. -- Nova Southeastern (34-13) will stay in the winner’s bracket in the NCAA South Region tournament, taking a 5-1 victory against defending national champions West Florida (34-18) Thursday. It is the first win in program history in a NCAA postseason first round game.
The Sharks won the game on a sixth-inning rally, scoring four of their five runs. In the meantime, Zachary Westcott turned in a solid performance in his postseason debut. Westcott earned the win by throwing seven shutout innings before allowing one run in the eighth. He gave up six hits and three walks. Westcott struck out two batters and threw 112 pitches before being relieved by Mike Gonzalez, who closed the game.
Blake Boyd went 2-for-3 in the contest with two RBI and a run scored. Javi Sujo recorded two hits with a run scored and reached base in three out of five plate appearances. Brett Clementswas effective behind the dish, throwing out two runners at second and later recording a sacrifice fly.
It was a pitching duel from the start, as the game was scoreless through the first five innings. During that span, the Sharks were held to one hit. Areo Regoli started the sixth-inning rally with a single to right centerfield. Sujo followed up with a single of his own, before Daniel Petitbon moved both runners over on a sacrifice bunt.
Chris Morales drove home the first run of the game on a single to left field. The Sharks never trailed after taking the lead. Clements recorded his sacrifice, plating Sujo, and was followed up by a double to left field from Ray Navarro. Boyd capped off the side with two RBI on a single up the middle.
West Florida posted a run in the eighth inning, but the Sharks answered back with their last run in the ninth inning. Boyd recorded a leadoff single through the right side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Carlos Asuaje drove him home on a single through the right side.
West Florida did not go out without a fight, loading the bases and placing the tying runner on first base with one out in the ninth. Gonzalez closed the game out by drawing a double play, sealing the Sharks’ postseason win.