Seminole State College took down No. 2 Santa Fe, 2-1. The Seminole State Raiders improve to 20-16 and a conference record of 4-6. The Santa Fe Saints Fall to 31-2 and 7-2 in the conference.
The Saints have been on a roll and had a five-game win streak heading into their conference game against the Raiders. The Saints have proven to be a dominant team that shouldn’t be taken lightly as they were 31-1. Their previous two games were against the College of Central Florida, which is one of the Saints’ Mid-Florida Conference rivals. At the time, the College of Central Florida was ranked first in the country with Santa Fe ranked fifth. The Saints won both games and improved to the second-highest-ranked team in the nation ahead of their match with the Raiders.
The Saints only loss came from their previous game against the Raiders, as they lost 3-2 with the game going into a 10th inning. With the two wins over the College of Central Florida, the Saints had a 7-1 conference record giving them a one-game lead over everyone else. Meanwhile, Seminole State has had some struggles this year. The Raiders were 19-16 with a 3-6 conference record. This put them in third place in a conference of only four teams.
Controlling The Mound
The Raiders kept the game low scoring and won 2-1. This was a big challenge as the Saints pose a big threat at bat, averaging 8.5 runs a game. Raiders pitcher Tyler Van Dyke put up a strong performance as he pitched for the entire game. Van Dyke had eight strikeouts and gave up only five hits with a single run. On the other hand, Saints pitcher Tobin Moran pitched for seven innings and had three strikeouts. Moran also allowed eight hits and one run while on the mound. Chase Chappell came in to close the game for the Saints during the final two innings. He recorded one strikeout, three hits and one run.
The game was in the hands of each team’s pitchers as they kept the game at a slow pace. Van Dyke made sure to keep the Saints big hitters in check, knowing their ability to score at bat.
Defense Comes Out On Top
In a game where every run is vital, defenses can’t afford to have any mistakes. The Saints baseman caught two baserunners attempting to steal, and the Raiders baseman caught one. However, both teams also made mistakes. The Saints overthrew two passes to first base, allowing runners to reach the base first. Both teams kept each other at bay by catching flyballs, and for the hits that got by them, they made quick strong throws to limit how far baserunners could get. This limited the number of big plays made by both teams. This meant that it took longer for teams to score, which allowed more time for pitchers to strike out batters and get through innings with no runs.
Runs of the Game
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth. With two outs, Jason Ambos stepped up to bat and hit a ground ball that passed first base for a single. Jose Perez then came up and hit a flyball to left field all the way to the fence. Ambos took off and scored the first run of the game. The Saints would go on to answer back in the bottom of the fifth. With Grant Gallagher at-bat, he hit it down the left-field line for a double. Van Dyke goes on to strike out Jacob Guthrie, giving the Saints their second out. Cory Filley then comes up and immediately hits it to a gap in the right field. Gallagher manages to reach home to tie the game 1-1. The game remained tied up until the top of the ninth.
With two outs at the top of the ninth, the Saints were looking to put away the Raiders so they could end the game on their terms. However, the Raiders still had a shot and they were going to take advantage of their last opportunities at bat. Kishon Frett took his place at bat and hit a double to left field that hit the fence just like his teammate Perez had done in the fourth. Danny Ramirez is now up and hits the ball straight up the middle of the field past multiple Saints. Frett finds his way home and puts the Raiders up 2-1. Van Dyke finishes the game for the Raiders and prevents the Saints from scoring to end the game 2-1.
The Saints and Raiders have two games left of this three-game series.