Santa Fe Saints edge out the Hillsborough Hawks in the first game of the season

The Santa Fe Saints kick off their 2022 season with an 8-5 win over the Hillsborough Hawks on Friday afternoon.

Starting Strong

The Saints came in hot in the bottom of the second inning with Santiago Garavito’s line drive far into left field, allowing Jake McKee and Luke Marquis to make it all the way around the diamond for two runs.

Starting pitcher Mitchell Gross was consistently throwing strikes through the first three innings, until the first Hawk run in the fourth and two in the fifth, putting the score at 3-2 Hillsborough.

This didn’t last long, as the Saints came back to close out the fifth with a RBI single from Jevin Relaford, allowing Garavito to make his way around third base to seal the Saints third run. Xavier Moronta stepped up to bat with two runners in the field, Relaford and Zeb Marquis, and hit the ball deep into right field allowing both runners to make it home, changing the score to 5-3 Santa Fe.

The Home Stretch

The Hawks put up two runs in the sixth to get rid of the Saints lead, but pitcher Jake Blair kept the Hawks at bay.

BJ Graham opened the bottom of the sixth with a bullet into right field, followed closely behind by Garavito. With help from hitters Relaford and Moronta, Graham and Garavito were able to round third and bring it home, to reestablish the lead of 7-5.

The Hawks were able to load the bases in the seventh, but Blair pulled them out of the situation, allowing no runs.

By the bottom of the eighth, the Saints had the bases loaded with Garavito, Zeb Marquis, and Moronta. Tyler Shelnut’s walk secured the last run for the Saints by Garavito, making the score 8-5 Saints.

Wyatt Campbell stepped up to the mound in the ninth to bring home the win, with all three Hawk hits resulting in outs.

The Saints wrapped up the game with a total of 10 hits. Moronta, Garavito, and Zeb Marquis all had a multi-hit game accompanied with a double each. Moronta lead the pack with three RBI, followed by Garavito and Marquis with two RBI each.

On the mound, Gross set the stage in the first five innings with three runs and five SO’s. Blair sealed the game in three innings, securing two runs and four strikeouts for the team. Campbell stepped in during the ninth and shut out the Hawks, leaving the Saints with their first season win.

Up Next

The Saints (1-0) make their way to Auburndale, Fla for two games on Saturday, January 29. They will play Northwest Florida State College at 10 a.m., followed by Eastern Florida State College at 1 p.m.

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