The State College of Florida suffered its first loss in the FCCAA Baseball Tournament Sunday — 12-4 to Miami Dade College — at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.
The Manatees will play in the state championship game at 1 p.m. today. They will play the winner of today’s 10 a.m. game between Palm Beach State and Miami Dade College.
If the Manatees win today, they will advance to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., for the first time since 2002, the last time SCF won the state championship.
Manatee High product Tyler Rocklein went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Austin Chubb went 2-for-4 with and RBI, and B.J. Zimmerman went 2-for-5 with a run scored for SCF.
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The Manatees were trailing 3-2 heading into the seventh inning, but they gave up a combined nine runs in the final three innings to Miami Dade.
Starting pitcher Steve Leasure, a Manatee High product, gave up three earned runs on five hits and three walks. He also had six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.