GAINESVILLE- College of Central Florida baseball coach Marty Smith couldn't have asked for a better way to get career win No. 600.
Smith's Patriots jumped on rival Santa Fe with a six-run third inning and completed a three-game sweep of the Saints with a 13-5 road win on Saturday afternoon.
"It's pretty cool how we did it," said Smith, one of three active coaches in the state to record 600 wins. "We're playing real well right now. Santa Fe was in first place last week and we were able to sweep them. We're hot right now. The guys have a lot of confidence."
Smith earned his 500th career win back in 2011 and has the Patriots right at the top of the Mid-Florida Conference standings with St. Johns River State.
"It's a lot fun doing this," he said. "Especially when you have great kids who do a great job on and of the field.
"Plus, my assistants Zach Bove and Jon Koenigsfeld (who both played at CF under Smith) have done a great job and are a real big part of what we are doing here."
Scoreless through two complete, CF (28-14, 13-5) got things going in the third, scoring all six of its runs with two outs.
"We had some great at-bats to extend (the third) and got some timely hits with two outs," Smith said. "Things are falling into place for us."
An RBI single by Enderson Velasquez put the Patriots on the board in the third. CF extended its lead thanks to a run-scoring triple by Collin Woody, a two-run single from Colby Brown, and a two-run triple by Robby Jolley to round out scoring in the third.
From there, the Patriots saw the Saints (20-17, 8-10) score three times in the fifth to cut the lead by three.
CF, though, responded with four runs in the sixth, thanks to a two-run single by Josh Ellzey. The Patriots also took advantage of two walks, an error and a hit batter in the sixth.
After a single run in the seventh, Ben Ellzey put an exclamation point on the day with a two-run home run that bounced off the top of the left field wall.
Velasquez (3 for 4, two runs scored, two RBI), Jolley (2 for 5, two RBI) and Brown (2 for 5, two RBI) led the Patriots, who outhit the Saints 14-11.
CF's Weston Pope earned the win on the mound and out-dueled SFC ace Kevin Martin. Pope (2-1) went seven innings and scattered nine hits and allowed three runs.
"He really battled for us," Smith said.
The Patriots return to action on Monday afternoon with a visit to FSC-Jacksonville. After that, CF has a huge road game against co-MFC leader St. Johns River on Wednesday night at 6 p.m.