Lynn knocks off top-ranked Tampa
Smith, Herrera have two hits, run scored in 4-3 SSC victory
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- With eight innings of work and six strikeouts, Shawn Kale propeled Lynn to a 4-3 win against No.1 Tampa in the Sunshine State Conference opener on Friday.
Austin Smith and Eric Herrera both contributed two hits and a run each in the victory for Lynn (10-4, 1-0 SSC). Both of Smith’s hits were doubles.
Tampa (11-1, 0-1 SSC) started the scoring in the first inning after Damon Elder landed an infield single then moved to second on sacrifice bunt by Anthony Caronia. The Spartans' Andrew Jones then doubled to score Elder. Kale then forced a pop up and struck out Heath Pritchard to end the inning.
Smith led off the bottom of the first with a double but the Fighting Knights could not score as Anthony Boza grounded into a double play then Jason Matusik grounded out to first.
After Kale’s shaky first inning, the senior rattled off five consecutive scoreless frames but needed a little help from his defense along the way.
In the second inning, Alex Bello led off with a ground out to second followed by a walk to Joe Sharkey. After Edgar Herrera singled, Kamm Washington rocked a double over the left fielder to score Sharkey and move Herrera to third.
With one out and runners on second and third, Kyle Radzewski grounded a ball to Tampa first baseman B.J. Zimmerman, who started to make the move to the bag but decided to throw home as Herrera raced toward the plate. Herrera’s head-first slide successfully avoided the tag to give Lynn the 2-1 advantage.
In the top of the third, Tampa looked to answer on back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Jones then grounded a ball through the left side of the infield but Bello in left field came up firing and hosed Elder at the plate.
With a one-run lead, the Fighting Knights manufactured a run in the fourth. Bello started off the frame with a single then advanced to second on a Sharkey sac bunt. After a Washington strikeout, Radzewski chopped a ball to third that caromed off Elder’s glove and rolled into left field, allowing Bello to score from second. After four innings, Lynn held a 4-1 advantage.
Kale provided two more innings of scoreless baseball but surrendered a run in the seventh after a Connor Obrochta lead-off double. Obrochta eventually scored on a Kale wild pitch to trim the Lynn lead.
Lynn answered right back in the bottom half of the seventh as Smith connected with his second double of the game to start the fame. Smith advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Diorio and scored after Boza singled.
Kale tossed a perfect eighth inning then headed to the ninth looking for the complete-game victory. After Kale walked Adam Pendleton to start the inning, head coach Rudy Garbalosa strolled out to the mound and called on Joe Perrotta to close out the game for Lynn.
Pinch-hitter Tyler Ding stepped to the plate and poked a single through the right side of the infield then was moved to second on an Obrochta sacrifice bunt. With the tying run at second and one out, Perrotta took a fly out from Elder then forced Coronia to ground out to Diorio to end the game and earn his first save of the season.