The College of Central Florida Patriots baseball team finished the COVID shortened 2020 season with a 21-7 record. Coming off of a season with such a stellar record, even though cut short, expectations are high for the 2021 season. Head Coach Marty Smith in his 27th season at CF, lost some key players from the 2020 squad, but reloaded with some talented new comers. Coach Smith said "we lost a few really good arms, but we feel offensively our middle of the order is back and we filled all the holes in our pitching staff with some quality young arms."
The Patriots opened up the 2021 season by going on the road to play in the Marissa Gusto Memorial Tournament hosted by Florida Southwestern State College in Ft. Myers. The Pats went undefeated in the tournament defeating Pasco-Hernando 23-1, Florida Southwestern, 11-7 and Miami-Dade, 8-7. Coach Smith said "I thought we played really well in all facets of the game against some really good teams."
The tournament success earned the Patriots the #1 ranking in the NJCAA Region 8 Coaches Poll. After two midweek games this week, a victory at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, 8-3 and a home loss to Eastern Florida State College, 8-5 the Patriots stand at 4-1 and welcomed the Lake Sumter Lake Hawks (3-2) to Goodlett Field in Ocala on Friday.
The College of Central Florida Patriots (5-1) came from behind to defeat the Lake Sumter Lake Hawks 8-3 in a non-conference match up. The Patriots have come from behind in each of their five wins this season. Lake Sumter jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a Ty Milliner RBI single and a Jake Ferry run scoring groundout. The Patriots bats came alive when Tre Hondras homered in the second inning (his 3rd HR of the season) and Miguel Useche hit his first home run of the season in the third inning. Jackson Taylor opened the fourth inning with a single and was driven home on a Jeslyn Whitehead fielder's choice to make the score 5-2 Patriots. Nick Calero added a run scoring single in the fifth and Hondras drove home two more runs with an 8th inning single. Logan Adams (North Carolina State commit) started on the mound for the Patriots and went 4.2 innings, giving up only 3 hits and striking out 4. Cameron Sereda (Tampa commit) earned the win in relief throwing 2.1 perfect innings with three strike outs. His second win of the year. Patriots pitching coach Zac Cole stated that "Cameron Sereda is special because he might be the most competitive guy on the team and finds away to get it done."