Reliever Jose Serrano got a two-out strikeout with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, as Polk State won its sixth game in a row, beating Suncoast Conference rival St. Petersburg College 6-5 tonight in Winter Haven.
Leading 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, the Eagles added two runs on back-to-back doubles by Casey Schroeder and Sam Machonis, who, running on the pitch, scored from second on a passed ball, making it 6-3.
St. Petersburg, however, did not go quietly in the top of the ninth. After the first batter grounded out, St. Pete rallied, scoring two runs on a double and two singles. Serrano retired the next hitter on a called third strike, with runners at first and second, before a single loaded the bases. That set the stage for Serrano to slam the door, and he got the last hitter on a called strike, a foul, and a strike swinging, stranding three runners.
Schroeder (3-for-4) slammed a solo home run, doubled twice, scored three runs, and drove in two. Machonis (2-for-4) also had two doubles and two RBI, along with a run scored. JD Osborne added an RBI, while Shane Gordon (1-for-4) and Daniel Sweet (1-for-3) each scored a run.
Polk State improved to 25-11 (13-5, first place in the Suncoast Conference). The Eagles host State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Friday at 6 p.m.