First-inning woes plague Gulf Coast

By The News Herald

Posted Jan 27, 2018 at 7:11 PM


BRADENTON — Gulf Coast continued to stumble in the first inning on Saturday, but overcame a three-run deficit to win the first game of a doubleheader, 10-6, over State College of Florida on Saturday in junior college baseball.


The Commodores then gave up five runs in the bottom of the first in the nightcap en route to a 10-3 loss. Gulf Coast is 1-2 after its season-opening road trip, surrendering four first-inning runs in an 18-3 loss to the Manatees in its season debut on Friday.


Gulf Coast actually had to rally twice in the opener. It scored four runs in the top of the third and added a single run in the fourth to build a 6-3 lead for starter Jake Rice.


The Manatees responded with a three-run rally to knock out Rice and tie the game 6-6. Gulf Coast tacked on two runs in each the sixth and seventh to clinch the decision.


Brett Wisely and Jacquez Koonce each had two hits and Malik Spratling knocked in three runs for the Commodores, who outhit the Manatees 12-9.


Rice went 3.2 innings and struck out nine, all but one of the outs he registered. Peyton Knight finished on the mound and struck out three.

Alec Aleywine was the losing pitcher in the second game lasting until the bottom of the fourth and striking out six. He added two hits and Cory Heffron bolstered his strong opening weekend with two hits and two RBIs. Heffron had a single, two doubles and two runs scored in GC’s opener on Friday.


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