DeLand, Fla. - Stetson belted a season-high 20 hits on its way to a 17-4 series-opening win over Savannah State Friday night at Melching Field. The #21 ranked Hatters won their seventh consecutive game and improved to 27-7 on the season while the Tigers dipped to 20-17.
The Hatter attack was led by junior Mark Jones (Bunnell, Fla.) who was wearing uniform #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on a night dedicated to the baseball legend's first night playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jones finished the game 4-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Fellow junior Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.) was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI and freshman Kyle Zech (Naples, Fla.) was a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored and his third double of the season.
Freshman pitcher Austin Perez (Loxahatchee, Fla.) improved to 2-0 after starting his second game of the season. He tossed six innings allowing two runs, one earned, and striking out six batters. Kevin Herlihy (Roswell, Ga.) started for the Tigers and took the loss falling to 4-3.
"They came out strong and put a pair of runs on the board but our guys stayed calm. I was proud of the way we came back and stuck with it until we took the lead and kept building on it", said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. "After a game like that we have to come out tomorrow, start all over and not get over confident."
"It's a good win. We'll enjoy this one tonight and then get back after it tomorrow", he added.
On a night where nearly every Hatter had an opportunity to play, Stetson sent 17 players to bat including Miles Rubinski (Cape Coral, Fla.) and Kyle Campbell (Lakeland, Fla.) who picked up the first plate appearances of their collegiate careers. Rubinski drew a walk for an RBI and Campbell walked and scored a run.
The Hatters and Tigers will return to Melching Field Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Stetson fans can see the games on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets for home games are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.