Juco baseball | SCF Manatees stay alive with win over HCC Hawks in state tournament


The Manatees laughed last.

The State College of Florida baseball team defeated rival Hillsborough Community College 12-6 on Sunday at the FCSAA state tournament in Lakeland, ending the Hawks' season 51 days after the two teams engaged in a bench-clearing brawl.

The Manatees scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back to stay alive in the double-elimination event.

Second-ranked SCF (42-13) will meet either Palm Beach State or Seminole State at 1 p.m. Monday for a spot in the championship series.

The region champion advances to the Juco World Series.

SCF and HCC forfeited a pair of games apiece after their brawl on March 22 at Robert C. Wynn Field.

Players met near home plate after Hawks pitcher Matt Wynne hit SCF's Connor Oliver in the back with a pitch. Two players from each team and an HCC assistant coach were ejected.

Sunday's game was never a contest. The Manatees led

7-0 and 8-1 before HCC rallied to get within four runs at 8-4 and 10-6. But that's as close as the Hawks (24-28-1) could get.

Jarred Smith went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. It was his two-run double in the first inning that started the scoring for the Manatees.

Braden River's Dalton Busby went 3-for-5 and scored twice, and Orlando Rivera, Oliver and Andrew Widell had two hits apiece. Rivera scored three times, and Connor Hale knocked in a pair of runs.

SCF banged out 17 hits. Each member of the lineup got a hit.

Starter Reggie McClain got the win. He allowed six runs, four earned, and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Devin Raftery allowed just one hit and no runs over the final 2 1/3 innings.

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