Polk State saw its baseball season end today with a 5-2 loss to State College of Florida in the FCSAA State/NJCAA District Baseball Tournament at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.
The Manatees broke a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly.
They added four runs the following inning on a double and a two-run homer.
The Eagles rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
"We were in position to do some damage in the eighth inning but we didn't come through," said Head Coach Al Corbeil.
"That's baseball. You're not always going to get the big hit.
"We got a lot of big hits this year and scored a lot of runs and won a lot of games, but when you get to this tournament you're playing the best teams in the state. It's really competitive, and if you don't get those big hits or catch a few breaks you're not going to win the state tournament."
The Eagles put two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth but failed to score.
"We have to give SCF credit," said Corbeil. "They got some big hits, and their pitcher did a great job. We couldn't get to him today."
Polk State went 1-2 in the tournament, losing 5-4 to Palm Beach and beating Eastern Florida 8-4 before today's loss to State College of Florida.
Despite today's loss, Corbeil looked back on a season full of positives.
"We have the same goals every year," he said. "We want our guys to come in and do a good job on the field and in the classroom and have them move on, and I think we've done an excellent job of that.
"We have 12 guys going on to Division 1 schools. Almost all our sophomores are committed, and on top of that we won 40 games and won the Suncoast Conference for the fourth straight year.
"I have to give a ton of praise to the assistant coaches and to our players. They grind it out and play through injuries and everything else. They work hard and they show up every day.
"I'm proud of what we've done here and hope we can keep doing it."
Starting pitcher Justin Gill took the loss today. In five innings, he allowed a run on six hits, walking two and striking out seven.
Cole Warken went 2-for-4 with a walk.
Martinez walked twice, stole a base, and drove in a run.
Zach Diewert singled, stole a base, and walked twice.
Biermann had three walks and scored a run.
Frey had a walk and an RBI.
The Eagles end the season 41-13 and 24-6 in conference play.