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Eastern Florida Drops State Baseball Tournament Opener; Elimination Game on Saturday
May 9, 2014 - Eastern Florida's baseball dropped into the loser's bracket at the Florida College System Activities Association/NJCAA Division I Region tournament on Friday suffering a 10-0 five-inning loss to Gulf Coast State.
Right-handed starter Jesse Schullstrom took the loss for Eastern Florida, allowing six runs on seven hits in four innings at Lakeland's Joker Marchant Stadium.
Eastern Florida seeks to stave off elimination at 4 p.m. Saturday as it plays FCSAA Southern Conference rival Palm Beach State for the seventh time this season, the teams having split six regular-season games.
Palm Beach lost its tournament opener, falling 5-1 to Suncoast Conference champion Polk State College, also on Friday. All tournament games will be shown live at www.psblive.com.
Gulf Coast opened a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Friday on a hit batter, a two-out walk and consecutive singles. The Commodores plated two more runs in the second on two hits, a Schullstrom throwing error and a groundout.
Josh Smith relieved Schullstrom with two runners on via base hits and no outs in the fifth inning and Gulf Coast leading 4-0. Smith allowed consecutive singles to move the score to 6-0.
Following a sacrifice bunt Gulf Coast extended its lead to 8-0 on a double off the left field wall by Max Bartlett for his third hit of the game. Gulf Coast made it 9-0 before Smith was relieved by Matt Yates with one out.
Yates induced a ground ball for the second out but then uncorked a wild pitch allowing the 10th run to score from third base and end the game on the mercy rule.
Angel Soto got Eastern Florida's first hit, a flare single to right field, with one out in the third inning but was doubled off for the third out as Austin Pereira was retired on a infield pop up.
Francisco Cruz hit a two-out single to left field in the fourth but was stranded at first base as Christian Diaz grounded back to the pitcher.
Through four innings Commodores right-hander Cameron Ragsdale had faced just 13 batters, one more than the minimum. He finished the game facing only 17 batters in five innings.
Austin Lenney doubled for the Titans third and final hit with two outs in the fifth inning but did not advance as Soto popped up to third base for the third out.
Gulf Coast, which was the Panhandle Conference runner-up, finished with 11 hits in improving its overall record to 38-12. Eastern Florida fell to 28-18.