Rollins College beat Bentley University 7-2 on Friday night’s baseball game at Alfond Stadium in Winter Park, marking the second victory for the Tars over the Falcons in as many days.
The Falcons drew first blood in the fourth inning; pitcher Nate Witkowski hit a single toward right field that took Bryant Johnson from second base to home.
But the fourth is also where the Tars made their bread and butter. Loading the bases twice, Rollins was able to upstage Bentley with five runs when their turn to bat came. It was a lead the Falcons weren’t able to surpass for the remainder of the game.
“We took a lot of pitches that inning,” said Rollins’ Head Coach Jon Sjogren. “When we swung the bat we were in deep counts. Their pitcher threw close to 40 pitches that inning and just started getting tired and left the ball open a little bit. I think we did a good job not swinging at his better pitches early. He was throwing five or six pitches per hitter, and then as we started getting bases he started getting tired and making more mistakes and we were able to attack.”
Infielder Kevin Mager, who ended the 2011 season with a .381 batting average, was one of the top scorers for the Tars on Friday, with two hits, three RBIs and one run.
“Kevin played well,” said Sjorgren. “He had two big hits and two big spots in that fourth inning and then had another one at the end that really helped; it probably kind of goes on singing, but he was able to let us relax a little bit.”
Mager was put on the 2012 Tino Martinez Award Watch List and holds the record for triples in a season in Rollins’ baseball program. He attributes the fourth inning runs to good hitting and “team chemistry.”
“Hitting is contagious,” Mager said. “We just got it going and were able to take advantage of some pitches in the zone.”
Hunter Mayfield also drove in the first of two RBIs in the fourth that sent Anthony Figliolia and Brian Lattanzi across the home plate, as well as scoring two runs in the game.
Pitcher Taylor Smith was also praised for his ability to keep the Falcons from hitting. “Taylor Smith threw just over 100 pitches in eight innings, and only gave up five hits,” said Sjorgren. “You get stats like that and you’re going to win games.”
“Taylor gave a great performance tonight,” said Mager. “A lot of the rest of us are in the bull pen for the next two games. Our hitting has been there and I think it’s going to get better.”
This is the second victory over the Falcons for Rollins; Thursday’s matchup had the Tars winning 10-4. The next two in the four game series are on Feb. 18 and 19, once again at Alfond Stadium in Winter Park.