OCALA-- The College of Central Florida baseball team is set to open up the 2018 FCSAA State Baseball Tournament on Friday at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.
FCSAA No. 6 Patriots (31-13-1), the Mid-Florida Conference No. 2 seed, will face off against Southern Conference No. 1 Broward College (34-16) in the opening round at 1 p.m. The FCSAA State Baseball Tournament is a double-elimination tournament. If CF defeats Broward, it will face the winner of Tallahassee/State College of Florida on Saturday at 4 p.m. A loss would drop the Patriots down to the loser's bracket to face off against the loser of the aforementioned game on Saturday at 10 a.m. Click here for the complete bracket.
CF punched its ticket to the state tournament by sweeping Lake-Sumter State College in straight games in the Mid-Florida Conference playoff. The Patriots defeated the LakeHawks 7-6 in 10 innings off a walk-off single from Christian Smallwood in game one of the three-game playoff. In game two, Mark Potter threw a 3-hitter in six innings of work to help lead CF to a 11-1 (8 innings) run-rule. The Patriot offense collected 27 hits and blasted five home runs in the two games.
CF now turns its attention to the No. 4 team in the state, Broward College Seahawks, as the road to the JUCO World Series begins.
CF hopes to keep its high-powered offense rolling into Lakeland. The Patriot offense comes into the state tournament leading the state in just about every offensive category-- home runs (91), team batting average (.327), on-base percentage (.432) and slugging percentage (5.77).
The offense will step to the plate against one of the top pitchers in the state in Rafael Santos. Santos is 9-2 on the year with a 3.00 ERA and has only given up one home run.
Be sure to catch all the tournament action live on the FCSAA Digital Network starting Friday.