Polk State clinched the Suncoast Conference championship today, beating South Florida State College 6-2 in Winter Haven.
Winning their twelfth game in a row, the Eagles combined excellent pitching, strong defense, and timely hitting.
Starting pitcher Matt Pearce gave up two runs in the first inning but then dominated the rest of the way, earning a complete game victory.
"Matt threw a gem today," said head coach Al Corbeil. "He gave up a couple of hits early and then really settled down and kept them from scoring the rest of the game. Then our offense finally struck in the fifth and sixth innings when we got a couple big hits, got on the board, and gave Matt a nice cushion."
Trailing 2-0, the Eagles scored once in the fifth and added five more in the sixth. Eight of the nine Polk State batters had at least one hit.
Cody DeNoyelles (2-for-5) doubled and drove in a pair of runs. His ground out with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the sixth broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Eagles a lead they never relinquished.
Daniel Sweet (2-for-4) had an RBI and scored twice. JD Osborne went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Sam Machonis (2-for-4) had an RBI, and Matt Piatt (3-for-4) scored once. Cole Ondrejka, Shane Gordon, and Casey Schroeder each had a hit and scored a run.
With the win today the Eagles have won the Suncoast Conference championship three of the past four years.
"I'm really proud of these guys for winning the conference title here and we're looking forward to comntinuing in the state tournament," said Corbeil.
The Eagles (31-11, 19-5 in the Suncoast Conference) hit the road Monday to play the University of Tampa JV at 6 p.m.