Eagles win first game of state tournament

Casey Kulina pitches in Polk State's 5-1 win over Palm Beach State today in the first game of the state tournament.
Casey Kulina pitches in Polk State's 5-1 win over Palm Beach State today in the first game of the state tournament.

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. 

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