SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Barry Buccaneers rallied late in game one and then held off Lions in the ninth to to win the first of two, 8-7, before dropping the nightcap and season finale, 10-3, Monday night in Saint Leo.
After a back-and-forth game, the Bucs (29-20, 9-15 SSC) answered the Lions’ three run eighth with a five run rally in the ninth and then this time held off a last inning charge to hold on to an 8-7 victory.
Barry jumped out in front on Tyler Kellmann’s two-run homer in the second that scored Adrian English, who led off the frame with a double, to give the Bucs a 2-0 advantage.
Jordan Taylor answered for the Lions (33-16, 14-10 SSC) in the bottom half with a two-RBI double down the right field line to score Nick Perez and Dylon Harris, tying the game at 2-2. Saint Leo took the lead the following inning on Dale Irving’s RBI double to left center and the lead stood until the eighth.
Buccaneers’ starter Adrian Benitez tossed 5.1 innings and held the Lions to just three runs while striking out four batters and keeping his team in the game.
Trailing by a run in the eighth, freshman Khalil Denson connected on his second home run in as many days to tie the game, 3-3, and then it really got interesting.
After back-to-back singles in the bottom of the eighth Fran Whitten connected on his 11th long-ball of the season to regain the lead for the Lions, and the Bucs seemed down but not out.
After English reached on an error and advanced to third on Kellmann’s single down the right field line, Greg Brodzinski drove in English with a sacrifice fly, chopping away at the Lions’ lead. Back-to-back walks to Luis Rios-Reyes and Mike Diaz loaded the bases for Denson who came through with a game-tying two-RBI single center field. With the game tied at 6-6, J.C. Cardenas was intentionally walked and Ramon Valdez made the Lions pay for it with a two-RBI single to right that capped the Buccaneers’ comeback.
However, after the Lions rallied back from four runs down in their final at-bat Sunday night, the Bucs knew that the game wouldn’t be over until the 27th out and the Lions proved to be a resilient bunch once again.
A one-out double off the bat of Irving and back-to-back singles from Nick and Taylor Perez made it a one run game with the tying run at third and just one out. After a walk, Jesse Montalto, who entered in the frame in relief of Tyler Petsch, got Harris to fly out for the second out of the inning. The coach Marc Pavao went to sixth pitcher of the game in Blaine Duncan who struck out the only player he faced to seal the 8-7 victory.
English collected three hits in the first game of the double-header while Denson drove in three runs to pace the offense.
In the nightcap, Joe Iorio took the hill for the Buccaneers in the final regular season game of the 2014 season. Saint Leo scored early with a run in the first on Harris’ RBI single up the middle to score Perez as the Lions grabbed the 1-0 advantage.
The Buccaneers countered with a two-run blast off the bat of Rios-Reyes in the second. After the homer, Diaz tripled to right center and came around to score on Carlos Matamoros’ infield single to push the lead to 3-1 in favor of the Bucs.
Saint Leo’s offense continued to score runs, putting up two more runs in the bottom of the second and again in the third while tacking on another run in the fifth, stretching the lead to 6-3.
Iorio tossed 5.0 innings in his final start of his career and struck out three despite allowing six runs.
Down the stretch the Lions scored four runs in the sixth, a total of nine unanswered to stretch the lead to the eventual final score of 10-3.
Barry was limited to five hits in the series finale. Rios-Reyes led the Bucs with a homer and two RBI.