OCALA-- The College of Central Florida baseball team plated eight runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back as the Patriots run-ruled St. John's River State College 20-6 (7 innings) on Wednesday night in Palatka. With the win, the Patriots are now 20-11-1 overall and 9-5 in conference.
Christian Smallwood got the scoring going in the first inning with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Ricky Presno. Two batters later, right fielder David Flores blasted a three-run homer over the left field wall and fellow outfielder Blake Marabell followed with a solo home run of his own. A Viking error and a pair of two-out singles from Yorvis Torrealba and Ricky Presno added three more runs before SJR was able to retire the side.
The Vikings countered with a pair of solo home runs in the bottom half of the first, but would not be able to match the explosive Patriot offense.
CF exploded for a pair of six-run innings in the third and seventh innings to complete the run rule.
As a team, the Patriots combined for 19 hits against six Viking pitchers on the night, including three home runs from Marabell (2), Flores, and Smallwood.
Marabell finished the night 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored, while Flores, (3 RBI, HR), Smallwood (3 RBI, HR), Torrealba (3-for-5, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored), and Presno (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored) also had big nights at the plate.
CF will look to take the series when it hosts the Vikings for the rubber match on Friday at 3 p.m.