Photo courtesy of Thomas Gaines, Behind the Scenez Media
LEESBURG- The College of Central Florida baseball team reduced its magic number to one in regards to earning a berth in the FCSAA State Baseball Tournament.
Pope (3-1) won his second straight conference start and got all the help he would need from his teammates early on.
Ambrosino came through with a three-run shot to left field to get the scoring started. Two batters later, Crile followed with solo homer to right.
For the game, Ambrosino went 2-for-4, with three RBI and one run scored. He was backed at the plate by Crile (2-for-4, run scored, RBI), Ryan Smith (2-for-5, run scored) and Colby Brown (1-for-2, run scored), Collin Woody (RBI double)
On the mound, Pope didn't allow a run on four hits in 7 2/3 innings of work. The sophomore from Crystal River walked two and struck out four in his second straight key outing for the Patriots. Pope's last start came in the Patriots' 13-5 win over Santa Fe, which gave CF coach Marty Smith his 600th career win.
CF (30-16, 15-7) hosts Daytona State on Wednesday at 3 p.m., followed by another home game on Friday afternoon against Santa Fe. A win by the Patriots in either game will earn them a trip to the state tournament.
CF can also get in with a loss by Seminole State in any of its last three games. The Raiders (22-16-1, 12-9) have to win out over their final three games against Lake Sumter (Wednesday), Daytona State (Friday) and St. Johns River (Saturday) in order to have a chance at the runner-up spot from the Mid-Florida Conference.
With the win over Lake Sumter, the Patriots finished 4-0 against the Lakehawks (19-23, 4-18) this season.