State College of Florida baseball remains perfect in Suncoast Conference play

Manatees remain perfect in Suncoast competition

jdill@bradenton.comMarch 12, 2013 

BRADENTON -- They're a small ball offensive club.

But lately, the State College of Florida baseball team has had a sudden power injection.

The Manatees didn't crank out any home runs in their first 25 games this season.

Now they've launched four homers in their past three games.

On Monday, SCF used the long ball and took advantage of early miscues to defeat Suncoast Conference rival Polk State College 15-5 at Robert C. Wynn Field.

"I like our hitters, and I'm not worried about how many of them are going over the fence and how many aren't," SCF head coach Tim Hill II said. "We just happened to not hit many home runs. The wind seems to be blowing in everywhere we've been playing, but it's no big deal. Are we able to create some offense, and that's what I'm more interested in."

There isn't any secret to the Manatees recent revival in the power department. It's not quite like the a few seasons ago when Jon Griffin (Arizona Diamondbacks organization), Gus Schlosser (Atlanta Braves) and Jonathan Rodriguez (St. Louis Cardinals) were mashing balls left and right.

But it's still an added bonus to this year's club, and the explosion has come at the perfect time.

SCF's victory over Polk State, which was shortened to eight innings due to the 10-run mercy rule, on Monday was its fifth consecutive conference victory.

And the Manatees (21-7 overall, 5-0 conference) lead the Suncoast Conference.

"I think some guys are squaring balls up," Hill II said. "And fortunately, we've hit a few (homers) now."

Sean Trent was the latest SCF player to display a potent bat. He delivered a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence during a five-run first inning.

Polk State, which is ranked No. 1 in the latest state poll, was sloppy in the beginning. The Eagles committed an error, while starting pitcher Brett Jones strug

gled to find the strike zone. He issued three walks and allowed seven runs over 1 2/3 innings.

However, only two of those runs were earned.

But the damage was too much to recover from. Polk State (22-6 overall, 4-4 conference) finished with four errors in a game that took nearly 3 ½ hours to complete.

The Eagles, though, did trim SCF's early lead to three after the top of the fifth inning. But the Manatees kept the pressure on with its consistent offense that Trent led.

Trent, a redshirt freshman transfer from the University of Florida, has only recently returned to the lineup after missing the first 20 games with a tendonitis injury to his Achilles' heel.

From the designated hitter's role, Trent went 3-for-5 with a home run, double and three runs batted in.

He finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

"I've been squaring the ball up well lately," Trent said. "The past two games, I've probably lined out eight times. But I finally got the hit (Monday)."

Orlando Rivera (3-for-6, three runs, double, RBI) and Dalton Busby (2-for-4, two runs, two RBIs, stolen base) joined Trent with multi-hit games for SCF.

The Manatees will go for the series sweep against Polk State College in Winter Haven on Wednesday.

They return home Friday to face archrival St. Petersburg College.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service