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Eastern Florida Scores Early and Often in 17-3 Baseball Victory

March 19, 2014 - Eastern Florida's baseball team built an early 12-1 lead and went on to defeat College LeFleche of Quebec, Canada 17-3 on Wednesday at Bruce Bochy Field on the Melbourne Campus.

The seven-inning victory improved Eastern Florida's record to 17-8. LeFleche fell to 6-13.

Starting pitcher freshman Roberto Lopez threw five strong innings for Eastern Florida limiting LeFleche to one run and two hits over five innings. Lopez struck out four and hit one batter.

"We've been hoping that's the Lopez we saw in the early spring," said Eastern Florida head coach Jeff Tam. "He got into a little rut where he was trying to be too fine and almost miss a bat and just pitch around the strike zone and falling behind and then having to throw a strike.

"It's tough. Good hitters can hit that when you fall behind in the count. We asked him to go out and be aggressive and let it fly and that's what we are going to expect from him here on out."

Offensively Eastern Florida rapped out 12 hits and took advantage of four LeFleche errors and six wild pitches. The Titans scored three times in the first inning and nine times in the second.

Sophomore Austin Pereira and freshman Francisco Cruz each scored three times for the Titans while Cruz, sophomore J.J. Gould and freshmen Christian Diaz, Nick Capra and Luis Ciuro rapped out two hits apiece.

The victory sets the stage for Eastern Florida to return to Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference play on Friday and Saturday against Indian River State College.

The teams play at 3 p.m. Friday in Fort Pierce and 1 p.m. Saturday at Bruce Bochy Field. Eastern Florida is 5-3 in the conference and in first place. Indian River is 3-4.

"Indian River is always going to play us tough," Tam said. "They've got a very good ball club and that being said I think we have a very good ball club. It's going to be two real tight games.

"If you make the plays and pitch, the offense will take care of itself and you manufacture some runs. Hopefully you come out on top."

Eastern Florida is ranked eighth in the state in the latest FCSAA Coaches Poll.