Nova Southeastern hits 11 homers in doubleheader sweep of Eckerd
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Top-ranked Nova Southeastern (36-10, 16-5 SSC) swept its Saturday doubleheader in St. Petersburg, beating Eckerd College (20-27, 7-15 SSC) by a score of 12-1 in the first game, followed by a 15-5 win in the series finale. The Sharks hit 11 home runs on the day, five of which came off of the bat of Justin Garcia. Coming into the day with 16 homer runs, Garcia shattered the school home run record of 17.
Mario Urdaneta led the home run parade, launching a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Eckerd answered back with a run in the bottom of the second inning to make the score 2-1. That was the last time that the Tritons crossed home plate in the game, as the Sharks poured on the runs throughout the rest of the game.
Garcia hit his first home run of the day in the top of the third inning to tie the school record, sending a two-run home run over the left center field fence. In the top of the fourth inning, Urdaneta added his third and fourth RBIs of the day, singling to center field to score Andres Visbal and Nick McNeil.
In the sixth inning, Alexander Fernandez doubled to drive in Urdaneta and Dylan Woods. Garcia then hit his second home run of the day, a two-run shot to break the school record, measured at roughly 475 feet. With a 10-1 lead, NSU added two more runs on a Woods RBI single and a Teft Hill home run.
While the offense did its job, Alex Mateo was dominant, tossing 8.0 innings while allowing just three hits and striking out nine batters on his way to his eighth win.
NSU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in Game 2, as Garcia hit a solo home run and a two-run home run, followed by a Urdaneta RBI single. Down four, Eckerd came all the way back, scoring five runs off of NSU's starting pitcher Ryan Castellanos, ending Castellanos' day. Zachary Westcott took over the pitching duties from there and was lights out, tossing 3.1 innings while striking out nine batters.
After the Sharks scored two runs to take a 7-5 lead, the Sharks launched five home runs off of the bats of Garcia, Woodard, Michael Hernandez, McNeil and Hill. In all, the Sharks hit seven home runs in the series finale and 11 home runs on the day.
Westcott earned the win, marking his fourth win of the year. He lowered his ERA from a 2.06 to a 1.88 in the process and lowered his conference ERA from a 0.91 to a 0.79.