The College of Central Florida Patriots push to secure the #2 seed in the Mid-Florida Conference and a chance to host the conference tournament took a hit Saturday afternoon when Daytona State College’s Alex Rich singled home Sean McArdle with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Falcons a 5-4 walk-off win. The Pats are currently in third place in the conference and fall two games behind second place Seminole State College.
The Pats (33-13, 11-8) opened the scoring in the second in inning on RBI singles by Kyler Hultgren and Matt Cedarburg for a 2-0 lead. The Falcons (16-17, 6-13) tied the game in their home half of the second when Kayden Anderson hit a two run home run for his first home run of the season.
Garrett Wallace broke the tie with his seventh home run of the season to lead off the fifth inning to give the Pats a 3-2 lead. Once again Daytona responded in their half of the inning to retake the lead 4-3 on a Rich sacrifice fly and and RBI single by Austin Brinling.
Down by one in the eighth the Pats tied the game when Miguel Useche singled home Jeslyn Whitehead who had doubled.
Falcons relief pitcher, Bryce Holmes (4-1) retired the Pats 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth inning to set up the bottom of the ninth heroics. Holmes threw 1.2 shutout innings allowing only one hit and striking out three. Nick Love threw well in relief for CF, but took the loss. Love (5-4) tossed 3.2 innings allowing only the one run on three hits with six strikeouts.
Leading hitters for the Pats were Wallace (3-5, double, HR), Whitehead (2-4, double) and Hultgren (2 for 3)
“We pitched well enough to win today and had our chances to score some more runs, but we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. We just have to play better over-all.” said Patriots Head Coach, Marty Smith.
CF is back on the road on Monday with a 3:00 p.m. non-conference game at Pasco-Hernando State College.