Held scoreless through eight innings, Polk State ended with a bang as Sam Machonis blasted a two-out, 3-2 pitch over the right field fence for a walkoff home run, giving the Eagles a 4-1 win over State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota tonight in Winter Haven.
Matt Pearce pitched a complete game for the win, giving up six hits and one earned run while striking out six. Started Reggie McClain also turned in a strong performance, holding the Eagles to three hits and no runs over the first eight innings
"Both pitchers were phenomenal on both sides today," said Eagles head coach Al Corbeil. "Matt Pearce threw an unbelievable ballgame. He gave up a double on a pitch down and away, and other than that he was dominant all night."
Corbeil credited his players for finding a way to win.
"The guys are very, very resilient," he said. "They've been doing it all year, and tonight they came back and got the starting pitcher out of the game in the bottom of the ninth, and then facing Ryan Valdes, a top-notch closer, Sam had a great at bat. He worked the count to 3-2 and banged it. He took a really good swing. After a walkoff home run the guys are really jacked up, especially with it being a conference game."
Polk State improved to 26-11 (14-5, first place in the Suncoast Conference). The same two teams meet again Monday at 6 p.m. in Winter Haven.