Auburndale, Florida- The Mount St. Joseph University Lions baseball team traveled to Florida to start their RussMatt Invitational series where they took on the Blazers of Elms College on Sunday morning. The Lions won their first games of the season sweeping the Blazers in game one by a score of 7-6 and game two by a score of 8-3.
They opened their week in Florida by giving Nathan Renner (Pleasant Prairie, WI / Tremper) for game one. The Blazers took an early lead scoring three runs in the first inning. The Lions offense started off slow until the fifth inning when Hunter Collins (Middletown, OH /Monroe) hit a double to the left center gap scoring two runs putting the Lions on the board. In the sixth inning Jose Bustamante (Austell, GA /South Cobb) singled to left center scoring two giving the Lions the lead by a score of 4-3. Collins singled down the left field line in the sixth giving the Lions a 5-3 lead going into the final inning. The Blazers fought back scoring three runs in the top of the seventh to put themselves ahead by a score of 6-5. The Lions fought back scoring 2 in the bottom of the seventh on a walk off single by senior Bustamante giving the Lions a 7-6 victory and their first win of the season.
Garret Hogan (Hamilton, Ohio/Badin) received the win for the Lions taking his record to 1-0 on the season. The Lions had multiple hitters who had multiple hits in the game including Bustamante who went 2-2. Collins and Tyrell Anderson (Cincinnati, OH / Western Hills) also recorded two hits on the day. Collins and Bustamante led the way for the Lions having three RBI's a piece.
The Lions gave Jacob Hughes (Cincinnati, OH / LaSalle) the start for game two. Hughes pitched very well going 6.0 innings giving up three runs with only one being earned. The Lions kept the momentum from the end of the first game taking an early 3-0 lead. Jose Bustamante (Austell, GA /South Cobb), Ian Mustard (Kings Mills, OH / Kings), and Matt Brankamp (Liberty Township, OH / Lakota West) all had RBI singles during the early scoring action. In the bottom of the third the Blazers got one back making the score 3-1. In the top of fourth Bustamante hit a two run homer to left adding to the Lions lead making it 5-1. In the top of the fifth the Lions added three more runs receiving one of them off of a Bustamante double. The Blazers would score two unearned runs in the bottom of fifth to finish off the scoring. The Lions would go onto win game two by a score of 8-3 giving them the sweep on the day.
Hughes received the win for the Lions giving him his first won of the season taking his record to 1-1. The Lions were led by Bustamante who had a very impressive day at the dish going 4-4 on the game with four RBI's which made him for the day 6-6 with 7 RBI's. Mustard also had a very solid day at the plate going 2-3 with a RBI.
The Lions (2-5) will continue their Florida trip as they take on the Wildcats of Cazenovia College in a double header at Pat Thomas Stadium on March 9 with game one being scheduled to start at 9:30 A.M. Tune into MSJsports.com for all of your live game coverages.