OCALA-- The College of Central Florida baseball team powered past FCSAA No. 3 State College of Florida, plating six runs in the final two innings to defeat the Manatees 10-4 on Wednesday night in Bradenton.
The Patriots (6-1) got out to an early 4-0 lead in the first three innings, but SCF responded with a three-run home run in the fourth and an additional run in the fifth to notch things up at 4-4.
A back-and-forth pitching duel ensued for the next two innings. Enter Christian Rivera.
Rivera came in to pinch hit for designated hitter James Nix in the top of the eighth, and four pitches later, sent one over the left field wall for a two-run homer to give the Patriots a 6-4. Rivera later connected for a two-RBI double in the top of the ninth to help secure the win for CF.
Rivera finished 2-for-2 with four RBI, while Matt Cedarburg went 4-for-5 at the plate with a RBI and two runs scored. Freshman catcher Colton Vincent (2-for-5) also drove in two runs. As a team, the Patriot offense collected 14 total hits on the night.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Francisco Mateo came in to throw 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits and striking out three to pick up his first career win as a Patriot.
CF will head back on the road to take on South Florida State College on Friday in Avon Park before returning to Ocala for a Saturday home game versus Eastern Florida State College at 1 p.m.