OCALA--The College of Central Florida baseball team downed its second consecutive nationally-ranked opponent in three days and continued its late-season surge in the Mid-Florida Conference.
CF, who hasn't lost since March 23, won its 10th game overall, but more importantly its eighth straight MFC contest, as it downed St. Johns River State College 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Goodlett Field.
After downing NJCAA No. 1 Santa Fe on Monday, CF battled and split the season series with No. 13 SJRSC.
The Patriots (29-15, 11-9) took the lead for good on an RBI single by John Cassala (1-for-4, two RBI) in the bottom of the fifth and then survived a late rally by the Vikings.
CF saw SJRSC put two runners on base with one out in the top of the ninth, but Ryan Knowles came on to retire two straight batters via fly balls to clinch the game.
David Lebron went six innings and earned the win for CF.
Lebron allowed one earned run on six hits. He walked two and struck out four to continue his dominance as CF's stopper during the second half of MFC play.
The Patriots, who were 3-9 at one point in the Mid-Florida Conference, got a strong game from Luke Heyer (3-for-5, two runs scored, two doubles).
CF now is in great shape for a chance at the third-place spot from the MFC.
The third-place team in the MFC gets a play-in game for a shot at the Region 8 Tournament.
The Patriots are three games behind SJRSC for the second place spot with four games left, but more importantly, they are two games ahead of FSC-Jacksonville and three games ahead of Seminole and Daytona State in the win column for the third place spot.
CF hosts FSC-Jacksonville for a huge conference match up on Friday afternoon at 3.