ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Flagler College Saints rallied from a late five-run deficit to win the first game and went on to sweep the No. 3 Lander Bearcats in a Peach Belt Conference baseball double-header Saturday afternoon at Drysdale Field. Flagler won 7-5 and 11-3.
The Saints improved to 6-1 overall, 2-0 in the Peach Belt.
The Bearcats fell to 5-4, 0-2.
The teams will complete their PBC three-game series Sunday afternoon in St. Augustine.
Lander took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning of Game 1 with a pair of unearned runs. Colby Painter hit a leadoff single to right, stole second, and after Will Jones reached on an error by the shortstop, Painter moved to third on Taylor Kellner's infield single and scored on an errant throw. Chris Hyatt's single through the middle brought home the second run.
The Bearcats increased their lead to 5-0 in the fifth when Thomas Berry hit a solo homer to right, Weston Lawing reached on an infield single, and Jones belted a two-run homer to left center. It was Berry's second homer of the season and the third for Jones.
But Flagler rallied for five runs in the seventh to tie it. Nick Oberg reached on a leadoff single and Todd Juliano followed with a two-run homer, pulling the Saints within 5-2. With two outs, the Saints loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk. One runner scored on a wild pitch, and Jon Roszel's two-run single tied the game at 5.
Flagler took its first lead of the day in the eighth when Oberg again reached on an infield single and pinch hitter Nick Kranick belted a two-out, two-run homer to left center to put the Saints on top 7-5.
Flagler starting pitcher Danny Brown made the lead stand up, retiring the Bearcats in the ninth for his second complete game victory of the season. Brown (2-0) threw 140 pitches, allowing five runs, three earned, on 10 hits while striking out 10 and walking one.
Lander starting pitcher Joe Mackey took a shutout into the seventh before allowing a two-run homer. He gave up two runs on six hits while striking out six and walking one in six innings. Jones (1-1) moved in from shortstop to relieve Mackey in the seventh and took the loss, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks in 1.2 innings.
Leading hitters for the Bearcats in Game 1 were Jones with two hits, including a homer, two RBI and two runs scored; and Lawing with two hits.
Kolin McMillen, Andrew Brodbeck, Oberg and Juliano each had two hits for Flagler in the opener.
Flagler picked up where it left off in the first game with three runs in the first inning of Game 2 on Shawn Hendon's two-run single and Sam Komel's run-scoring single for a 3-0 lead.
Lander pulled within 3-1 in the second when Lawing doubled to right and scored on Colby Lusignan's single.
The Saints scored three more runs in the second to take a 6-1 lead, knocking out Bearcats starting pitcher Taylor Alvarez. Oberg singled, stopped at third on Brodbeck's double, and scored on Lorenzo Butler's ground out. Alvarez walked two batters, one intentional, to load the bases with two outs. Skylar Fox greeted Lander reliever Cameron Tekker with a two-run single.
The Bearcats pulled within 6-3 in the fifth. Pinch hitter Andrew Reardon smacked his first homer of the season, then Hyatt reached on an error, moved to second when Giczewski was hit by a pitch, and scored on Berry's single.
Flagler increased its lead to 7-3 in the sixth when Brodbeck walked, stole second and scored on Butler's single.
The Saints added a run in the seventh when Komel walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bryce Evans, stopped at third on a passed ball, and scored on Oberg's sacrifice fly.
Flagler added three unearned runs in the eighth to put the game away.
Lander was held to five hits in Game 2.
Brodbeck and Butler had three hits apiece for the Saints in the second game while Komel added two hits.
Alvarez (1-1) took the loss for the Bearcats, allowing six runs on six hits in 1.2 innings. Tekker allowed just one run on five hits in 3.1 innings of relief, and Logan Pemberton gave up four runs in two innings.
Mike O'Reilly (2-1) recorded the win for Flagler, allowing three runs on four hits in seven innings.