State Pitcher of the Year Casey Kulina gave up only one run as Polk State beat Palm Beach State 5-1 today in the first game of the NJCAA Gulf District/FCSAA state baseball tournament at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.
Kalina worked eight and one-third of an inning, improving to 12-0. He got the only runs he needed in the bottom of the fourth when Sam Machonis drove in two with a two-out double.
Daniel Sweet increased the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Matt Piatt had a two-out RBI single, giving the Eagles a 4-1 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, again with two out, Machonis had an RBI single, making the score 5-1.
Palm Beach State threatened in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with one out. Jose Serrano came on in relief and got the next two hitters out on a popup to short and a fly ball to right field. He and Kulina held Palm Beach State to five hits.
"Overall we played a really good game today," said head coach Al Corbeil. "Kulina threw really well and did a great job. That's what we needed. "
Polk State plays its next game Sunday at 7 p.m. at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.