OCALA-- The College of Central Florida baseball team has punched its ticket to the 2018 FCSAA State Baseball Tournament after sweeping Lake-Sumter State College in straight games in the Mid-Florida Conference best-of-three playoff on Saturday and Sunday.
CF took a 1-0 series lead after Christian Smallwood hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to help lead the Patriots past the LakeHawks 7-6 in game one.
The Patriots headed to Leesburg for game two. A CF win would solidify the Mid-Florida Conference No. 2 spot, if not the rubber match would head back to CF on Monday.
MFC First Team All-Conference third baseman Ricky Presno got CF on the board with a solo home run, his seventh of the year, in the first inning before the Patriot offense exploded for a five-run fourth inning. A pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for a Yorvis Torrealba two-RBI single. A batter later, Smallwood and Tanner May delivered back-to-back singles to put CF ahead 6-0 after four innings.
The Patriot offense continued to roll in its 15-hit day as Torrealba blasted a solo homer in the sixth inning, his 13th of the season, and May added a two-run homer of his own in the eighth inning. John Fiorenza added two more insurance runs in the eighth to complete the run-rule.
On the mound, sophomore Mark Potter was dominant against the LakeHawk offense, who just put up 13 runs on No. 3 St. John's River State College two nights ago. Potter allowed just one hit and struck out six in the first three innings. He allowed just one run on three hits and struck out eight in six innings of work before giving way to relievers Pablo Toranzo and Ben Koff who combined for two scoreless innings of work.
CF has now increased its program-best home run total to 91 on the year, ranking No. 1 in the state and Top 5 in the nation.
The Patriots will now turn its attention to the opening round of the state tournament where it will face Southern Conference No. 1 Broward College on Friday, May 11 at 1 p.m. at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. Click here for the complete tournament bracket.