The Santa Fe Saints will advance to the NJCAA Region VIII/FCSAA State Tournament for the fifth year in a row and 10th time in 13 years under the leadership of head coach Johnny Wiggs after their come from behind 7-4 win over St. Johns River State College Tuesday afternoon in Gainesville.
"So proud of the guys," said SF head coach Johnny Wiggs. "We won 13 of our last 15 games to get this done and get back to the state tournament. Many probably wrote us off when we started 1-5 in conference."
The Vikings struck first in Tuesday's game when Rhyan Romano brought in A.J. Mathis with a sacrifice fly and Nick Romano followed with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to put SJRSC up 3-0.
The Saints evened the score in the bottom of the fifth when Parker Biederer singled with two outs and Jarrod Cande, Jonathan Logsdon and Caleb Stafford followed with back-to-back-to-back doubles to make it 3-3.
"We got great production up and down the lineup," said Wiggs. "In the fifth we got a single and three straight doubles by the six through nine hitters in our lineup."
Connor Churchill started on the mound for the Saints and pitched five innings allowing three runs, five hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Tyler Jones (3-2) earned the win with two innings of shutout relief while Emanuel Fernandez earned his third save of the year working the final two innings.
"Churchill, Jones and Fernandez all pitched well against a very tough lineup," said Wiggs. "It was a great team win."
The Saints (37-15, 16-8 MFC) will be off until Friday May 10 when they will face Florida Southwestern State College in the first round of the NJCAA Region VIII/FCSAA State Tournament at 4 p.m. at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL.
For tournament updates and all SF Athletics news visit santafesaints.com.