By JOSH HYBER
Anything you can do, we can do better.
And better. And better.
That was the statement made by Santa Fe (Gainesville) on Saturday during its game against Northwest Florida State on day two action of the Region 8 baseball tournament.
Each time the Raiders scored a run in the top of an inning, the Saints responded with three of their own in the bottom half.
"That's what good teams do," Raiders skipper Doug Martin said. "They answer. And Santa Fe answered with multiple runs each time we scored."
On Saturday morning at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, the No. 8-seed Raiders (33-16) fell 7-2 to No. 3-seed Saints (37-11).
Starting pitcher Eric Orze went five innings, allowing nine hits and seven earned runs. He struck out three and walked one.
The team also committed two errors, struck out 11 times and stranded three runners on base.
With the loss, NWF State will play an elimination game on Sunday at 10 a.m. against No. 6-seed St. John's River State. The Raiders will start sophomore pitcher Brayson Smith (5-3, 3.62 ERA).
It'll be do or die for a Raiders team that struggled on the mound and at the plate on Saturday.
NWF State scored in the first — its only run of the first five innings — on a single from first baseman Jake Corso that scored Deas.
But Santa Fe scored three times in the bottom of the frame to go ahead 3-1 lead before adding another in the second to extend it to 4-1.
"Their offensive gameplan was really good today," Martin said of the Saints.
But Santa Fe scored three more in the bottom of the sixth to go up 7-2.
Said Martin, "We just didn't give ourselves a chance."