OCALA-- The College of Central Florida baseball team continues to roll, defeating South Florida State College 4-1 on Friday afternoon at Goodlett Field. CF improves to 4-1 on the season with the win.
South Florida got on the board with its only run of the game in the top of the first inning off a RBI double by Casey Asman before Patriot starter Eric Linder settled in. Linder, the freshman right-handed pitcher from Nease High School, went on to strike out 10 in six innings of work.
The Panthers held a 1-0 lead through four complete innings before the Patriots came marching in to plate three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
A single to right field by James and three consecutive walks by South Florida's starter Trey Fields tied the ball game at 1-1. A batter later, freshman center fielder Carlos Salaverria delivered a two-out two-RBI double to center to put the Patriots ahead for good.
CF pitchers kept the Panther offense at bay, allowing just six hits on the day and striking out 15 total batters. Linder picked up his first win as a Patriot, allowing just one run on five hits and 10 strike outs in six innings before giving way to reliever Brendan Bell. The freshman right-hander from Palm Beach threw three scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit and struck out five.
The Patriot pitching staff currently leads the state in total strikes with Linder (1st), Bell (4th), and Brandon Knarr (5th) ranking Top 5 individually through the first two weeks of the season.
At the plate, Salaverria led all CF batters, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
CF will be back in action on Saturday when it welcomes Palm Beach State to Goodlett Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. The Patriots look to avenge the extra-inning loss to the Panthers on opening day in Lake Worth, Fla.