OCALA-- The College of Central Florida baseball team pulled out a thriller against St. Johns River State College, defeating the Vikings 13-9 on Friday afternoon at Goodlett Field.
CF (21-11-1, 10-5) found themselves down 3-0 after 3.5 innings before Blake Marabell hit a two-out, two RBI single to left to bring the Patriots to within one run.
St. Johns countered with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth before the Patriot offense exploded for seven runs in the bottom half of the inning to give CF its first lead of the game, all on two outs.
John Fiorenza jump-started the scoring affair with an RBI single. A batter later, Yorvis Torreabla walked, setting up a bases-loaded situation for Ricky Presno who went yard for the team's state-best 57th home run of the season. Christian Smallwood matched Presno's home run with one of his own to complete the seven-run inning.
The Vikings rallied back to plate four runs to tie it 9-9 in the seventh.
To the eighth we went with a tie ball game, winner taking the three-game series.
Patriot pitcher Franklin Hernandez kept the Viking offense at bay in the top half of the inning, setting up a two-out rally by the Patriot offense.
With the three homers on the day, the Patriots set a new single-season team record for most home runs hit in a season with 59 to date. The Patriots' previous home run record was 56.
CF leads the state in total home runs with 59 and has four of the top eight home run hitters in the state. Smallwood leads the state with 12, while Luis Medina sits at No. 2 with 11, and Marabell and Flores are tied for No. 7 with nine homers.
Flores finished the day 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Presno (2-for-5) recorded four RBI, and Blake Marabell (2-for-3) and Christian Smallwood (4-for-5, 3 runs scored) each drove in two.
On the mound, Nick Geller got the start, allowing three runs on five hits before giving way to three Patriot relievers: Josh Harper (0 R, 1 H, 1 K, 1.2 IN), Franklin Hernandez (2 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 3.1 IN) and Mark Potter (0 R, 1 H, 2 K, 1 IN). Hernandez got the win and Potter recorded his first save of the year.