Gainesville, FL – The Santa Fe Saints struggled offensively for most of the day, but two late game substitutions came up big for the #7 team in the country to give SF a 5-4 11th inning win over Seminole State College. The win moves the Saints to 27-6 overall and 8-2 in the Mid-Florida Conference.
Zach Hand came up with the deciding hit in the bottom of the 11th inning, singling in Jarrod Cande, who'd doubled with two outs and nobody on. Hand entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement for Garrett Mathes who moved to pitcher and Cande pinch hit for Jeff Misener late in the game.
Max McKinley started on the hill and pitched well but took the no decision after a two run homer in the eighth by the Raiders and a run in the ninth tied the game at 4-4, sending it to extra innings.
Mathes pitched out of a jam in the tenth after a lead off triple by SSC, striking out back to back batters and then got a ground out to third to end the inning and the threat.
After a perfect 11th from Mathes on the hill, Cande and Hand came through in the clutch to give SF their fourth win in a row.
Haydn Cano was a bright spot for the offense, finishing with two hits, a double and a triple. Mikey Navarrete also had two hits out of the leadoff spot.
The Saints and Raiders will meet up again on Wednesday in Sanford at 3:00 p.m. for the second game of their three game series.
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