MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Barry University’s baseball team dropped the final two games against Florida Southern Saturday at Feinbloom filed, losing game one, 3-1, before dropping the series finale by a score of 4-1.
The Mocs pushed the first run of the game across in the top of the second inning on Dominic Brugnoni’s RBI single through the right side.
In the bottom of the third, the Bucs tied the game at 1-1 on Branden Shaw’s two-out RBI single to center that scored Khalil Denson.
The game turned into a pitcher’s duel as neither team scored in the fourth or fifth inning, but the Mocs took the lead in the top of the sixth with a two-out two-RBI double to left center off the bat of J.J. Downum.
Joe Iorio entered the game in the seventh in relief of starter Jesse Montalto who struck out a season-high six batters in six innings of work while allowing just three runs.
Barry started the eighth with back-to-back singles from Luis Rios-Reyes and Denson and after an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt Shaw loaded the bases with a single to left. However, the Bucs stranded the runners when Denson was gunned down at the plate trying to score on a fly ball to left.
The Mocs called upon their closer Nate Carter for the second consecutive game and the right-hander retired the first two batters of the inning before walking Kellman and allowing back-to-back singles to Brodzinski and Rios-Reyes to load the bases.
Denson came to bat with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Bucs trailing 3-1, but the freshman grounded out on a hard hit ball back to Carter to end the game.
The Mocs and Buccaneers found themselves in yet another pitcher’s duel in the night-cap and on the hill for the Bucs was Adrian Benitez.
The right-hander Benitez (3-1) cruised through the first three innings without allowing a run, but finally surrendered a run in the top of the fourth inning when the Mocs capitalized on an error to take a 1-0 lead.
Barry pushed a run across in the bottom of the fourth inning on Denson’s two-out RBI single up the middle that brought in Kellman and tie the game at 1-1.
Florida Southern opened up a three run lead in the top of the fifth on four hits and two costly errors by the Buccaneers’ defense to make it a 4-1 game.
Heading into the final inning the Bucs trailed by three. Brodzinski led off the seventh with a hit-by-pitch and Denson followed with a single to right to bring the tying run to the plate. Following a fielder’s choice, Mike Diaz walked to load the bases for Shaw.
Casey Eskew entered in relief of Ben Richardson (4-1) who held the Bucs to just one run in 6.1 innings of work.
Eskew got Shaw to ground into the Bucs’ fourth double-play of the game to strand the bases loaded and close the game.
Denson and Shaw finished the double-header combining for eight of the Bucs’ 18 hits in the two games.
It was the Bucs’ fourth consecutive loss after opening the season 14-2. Barry returns to action on Tuesday when they’ll host Adelphi University with first pitch scheduled for 6 pm.