USCB baseball found itself on the wrong end of one pitchers’ duel and one slugfest Saturday, dropping both ends of a doubleheader to visiting Florida Memorial.
After winning Friday’s series opener, the Sand Sharks lost 3-2 and 12-8 on Saturday to drop two of three to the Lions in the opening Sun Conference series of the season.
USCB fell behind 3-0 after five innings in the first game of the doubleheader, then put up single runs in the seventh and eighth before coming up short in their comeback bid. Starter Matt Malatesta (2.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 3 K) was tagged with the loss, but Tanner Davis limited the Lions to one run over 5 1/3 innings to give the Sand Sharks a chance to get back in it.
Alexander Humphrey led the comeback effort, going 2-for-4 with two triples — tying the school record for triples in a game.
Humphrey’s second triple of the game brought home Leandy Castro to cut the deficit to 3-2, but the Sand Sharks couldn’t get Humphrey home with the tying run.
The Sand Sharks also got the leadoff man aboard in the ninth and had runners and first and second with one out before a game-ending double play stranded the tying run.
USCB dug an early hole again in the finale, giving up four runs in the first and never fully digging out. Starter Harrison Bell took the loss, allowing four runs and four hits while recording just one out in the first.
Nick Milhan was 2-for-5 with an RBI, Humphrey was 1-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice, and Castro was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs.
The Sand Sharks scored early and often in Friday’s opener, then held on for a 10-8 win. USCB spotted the Lions a 3-0 lead in the top of the first before plating two runs in the bottom of the inning and five in the second. USCB tacked on three runs in the fourth to make it 10-5, then shut down FMU rallies in each of the last three innings to seal the win.
Clint Sellers went 3-for-4 with a double and five RBIs, and Humphrey was 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Eamonn Collins (1-1) picked up the win, allowing seven runs (six earned) and 10 hits over 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks. Braxton Copley retired all three batters he faced to strand an inherited runner and earn the save.
USCB (3-6, 1-2 TSC) hosts St. Thomas for a Sun Conference series this weekend. The teams are slated to play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Friday and a single game at noon Saturday.