WINTER PARK, Fla. (March 7 2020) - An offensive onslaught between the Eckerd Tritons and Rollins Tars ended with the visiting team coming out on top 11-9 on Saturday afternoon.
It was a clear, cool day in Winter Park with a strong wind blowing out to left field. The weather came into play from the jump, as Eckerd scored three quick runs in the first on two doubles and a home run off the bat of Mitch Donofrio. They extended the lead to 4-0 in the third inning when Donofrio doubled home Nick Arrivo, who had reached on a walk. Another run was added to the Triton's tally in the fifth when, you guessed it, Donofrio came through with his second home run of the day, a no doubter over the left field fence to give Eckerd a 5-0 advantage.
Rollins wasn't ready to quit, however. After two quick outs in the bottom of the fifth, Sam LaFontaine walked. That brought up the top of the order for the Tars. Cameron Meehan put Rollins on the scoreboard with a two-run home run in the next at bat. Nick Santucci kept things going with a walk of his own. He was followed by Adams Torres, who ripped a double down the left field line. Santucci, who was running on the play, scored easily to make it 5-3. Cleanup hitter Ryan Coleman was up next, and launched the first pitch that he saw over the center field wall to tie the game at five.
Both offenses were locked in, and they traded field goals in the sixth. Eckerd scored three runs on three hits and a sac fly to make it an 8-5 ballgame. Once again, the Tars fought back in their half. Eddie Ayala and Lafontaine singled with two outs, setting the table for Meehan once again. The leadoff man showed off his power stroke with his second dinger of the day, clearing the left field wall with plenty of room to spare.
The Tritons took the lead for good in the seventh when Mikey Burke showcased his speed. He led off the inning with a hit by pitch, and then stole both second and third base during Michael Ballard's at bat. One batter later, Burke came around to score when a wild pitch in the dirt got past the catcher. Eckerd added two insurance runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles from Santos Grande and Donofrio.
Rollins got one run back in the eighth when LaFontaine doubled home Ayala, but it was too little, too late as the Tars fell 11-9.
Steven Swift went five innings as the starting pitcher for Rollins, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts. Austin Long, Ross Korosec, Ryan Moore and Kyle Kramer all saw action out of the bullpen, with Korosec wearing the loss.
Meehan led the Tars offense with a 2-3 day at the plate. Both hits left the yard, and he also added two runs, five RBI, and two walks. Donofrio countered the effort with a similar line of 4-5, two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored.
The Tars will wrap up the 72nd annual Baseball Week with a matchup against Malone at 1 pm at Alfond Stadium. The two teams met on Thursday afternoon, with the Tars coming out on top 10-1. Stay tuned to RollinsSports.com for the latest updates.