OCALA-- The College of Central Florida baseball team rallied past Hillsborough Community College 5-4 to pick up a big road win on Monday afternoon in Tampa.
CF (3-1) trailed HCC 2-1 heading into the eighth inning, but it turned into a back-and-forth affair in the final two innings.
Back-to-back solo homers from Luis Medina and Christian Smallwood in the top of the eighth inning gave the Patriots a 3-2 lead. HCC countered with two unearned runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to regain the lead, 4-3.
To the ninth marched the Patriots.
With two on and one out in the top of the ninth, Luis Medina singled in Yorvis Torrealba to tie the game. Two batters later, Austin Nickle hit a line drive to left field, singling in Tanner May to put the Patriots back ahead 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
A double and a walk put two on with none out for HCC, but Nick Geller made pitches when it counted. Back-to-back strike outs and a ground out stifled a Hawks comeback.
Jacksonville University transfer Mark Potter started on the mound for the Patriots, allowing just two runs on four hits and struck out three in six innings of work before exiting the game. Geller closed the game, not allowing an earned run on two hits and struck out two in two innings to get the win.
At the plate, Medina (2-for-4) and Nickle (1-for-4) led the offensive attack with two RBIs apiece. Torrealba (2-for-4, 2 runs scored) and Ricky Presno (2-for-3) also had solid outings at the plate for the Patriots.
CF will be back in action on Friday when they host South Florida State College for its home opener. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.