SCC's baseball team moved up a notch to no. 5 in the latest Florida Community College Activities Association’s (FCCAA) weekly coaches’ poll released Tuesday.
The Raiders are 28-13 and 10-4 in Mid-Florida Conference play.
Additionally, SCC freshman Delgis Soto and St. Petersburg College’s Tommy Meagher share this week’s FCCAA Pitcher of the Week award.
Soto, a first-year player from the Bronx, earned the honor by way of his strong performance as the Raiders’ closer. He saved consecutive games against St. Johns River on April 2 and FCCJ on April 4, working more than the traditional “three-out save” on both occasions. Against St. Johns River, he recorded the final five outs in Seminole State’s 6-5 win. Two days later against FCCJ, he got the last four outs to secure a 12-11 victory. In three innings, Soto allowed only one hit and struck out two while raising his FCCAA-leading save total to seven.
April 5, 2008 - Sam Kikla (Malabar, Fla./Palm Bay) made his mark on SCC's baseball history Friday, April 4, when, during the fourth inning, he homered twice, including a grand slam the second time, to lift SCC to a 12-11 victory over FCC-Jacksonville.
Kikla is the first player in SCC history to accomplish the feat.
SCC (28-13, 10-4 Mid-Florida) recorded its second consecutive win and its fourth in five games. Kikla's home runs book-ended a 10-run fourth inning that saw SCC go from a two-run deficit to an eight-run advantage. The game was at SCC's Jack Pantelias Field.
Kikla now is tied for the team lead in home runs with nine on the season. His first home run came off of FCCJ's starting pitcher and the grand slam came off the fourth pitcher of the inning for FCCJ.
The Raiders' grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run home run from Gary Rausch (Ocoee, Fla./West Orange). The freshman third baseman connected for his fifth home run of the season.
FCCJ rallied with three runs in the third and another in the top of the fourth before SCC exploded in the bottom of the inning. FCCJ returned fire in the fifth inning, posting four runs, and then added a run in the seventh inning and a pair in the eighth to draw within a run.
Raiders' pitching struggled to find consistency as three different pitchers surrendered multiple runs through seven innings. Freshman Alex Lombardi (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary) recorded just one out but earned the win (5-0) in relief.
Delgis Soto (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and one hit, earning his seventh save of the season and his second save in as many games, protecting a one-run lead in both opportunities.
Winter Haven, Fla. – If not for the heroics of Tom Quinn (Sanford, Fla./Seminole) in the bottom of the 10th, Sam Kikla (Malabar, Fla./Palm Bay) may not have been cast in the role of hero in the 15th inning of SCC's 3-2 victory Monday, Feb. 11 over Polk CC at Viking Field in Winter Haven.
Kikla singled in the top of the 15th inning to drive home catcher Jared Avchen (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) who doubled to lead off the inning after catching the previous 14 innings to lift SCC to one of its most thrilling regular-season wins.
Avchen, Quinn and Kikla made a winner of sophomore reliever Eric Broberg (Sanford, Fla./Bishop Moore) who pitched seven innings of relief and threw a total of 103 pitches. Quinn, a defensive replacement in the bottom of the 10th, threw out the potential winning run at the plate to send the game into the 11th inning.
Freshman Brett Oberholtzer (St. Georges, Del./William Penn) made his first collegiate start for the Raiders and was superb. Oberholtzer tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball, walked one and struck out four.
The game, remained tied into the eighth inning when Polk scored the first run of the game on an RBI double. The Raiders responded in the top of the ninth, when pinch runner Tim Williams (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) attempted a straight steal of home and was awarded safe passage to home plate on a balk by Polk’s pitcher, tying the score at 1-1.
The two teams traded runs in the 10th inning, the Raiders with an unearned run driven in by Jeff Eubank (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll) and Polk on an infield single.
Innings 11-14 featured both offenses struggling to mount any sort of offense, while Broberg and Polk reliever Will Arnold traded zeroes on the scoreboard.
Broberg finished the game with nine strikeouts and two walks in seven innings of one run relief.
Sanford, Fla. – SCC baseball split a doubleheader versus Brevard Community College Sat. Feb. 9 at Raider Field in Sanford. SCC dominated the first game, winning 7-0 before capitulating to the Titans 6-4 in the second game.
Sophomore John Vacca (Cape Coral, Fla.) provided a spark plug in game one highlighting a five-run first inning with a towering two-run home run to left field. The home run was his third of the season.
Four pitchers combined on the shutout for the Raiders. Starting pitcher Chris Heston (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) allowed just one hit in his four innings of work. Heston (2-0) struck out five Titans, walking just one. Three relievers each pitched an inning of shutout baseball. First, Kevin Decker (Washington, Ind./Washington) made a tune-up appearance out of the bullpen in the fifth inning. Decker was then followed by Delgis Soto (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) who struck out the side in the sixth inning. Finally, in the seventh inning, sophomore Eric Broberg (Sanford, Fla./Bishop Moore) nailed down the win for SCC.
Freshman Rashad Jackson (Ft. Pierce, Fla./John Carroll) started at second base and went 2-for-3, with a run and RBI. Sam Kikla (Malabar, Fla./Palm Bay) drove in two runs with two base hits as the designated hitter.
In game two, Brevard's starting pitcher Mark Shevcock had the Raiders’ hitters off-balance for most of the afternoon, SCC managed just one run through the first five innings, while sloppy defense handed Brevard five unearned runs through six innings.
Freshman Tye Buckley (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) found himself behind in the count early and often and was fortunate to exit the game after 3 2/3 innings having surrendered just two unearned runs, on two hits having walked eight batters and struck out none.
SCC showed life late in the game loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. After two run-scoring outs, Vacca drove in the third run of the inning on an RBI single to center, bring the deficit to just two runs for SCC. The inning came to a premature end when pinch runner, Kikla was picked off at second, ending the inning.
Freshman Owen Dew (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) pitched a scoreless top of the seventh inning. The Raiders were not able to parlay two base-hits in the bottom of the seventh into runs, ending the ball game.
Sanford, Fla. – Sophomore center fielder Tyler Cox (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) hit his first career homerun and tied a career high with three RBIs, aiding SCC (5-4) to defeat Palm Beach CC by a score of 11-3 Friday, Feb. 8 at Raiders Field in Sanford.
Cox’s efforts helped make a winner of sophomore southpaw pitcher Adam Sprague (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) who bounced back from a tough outing in his previous start to earn the win for SCC. Sprague (2-1) kept Palm Beach (5-5) off the board for five of his six innings pitched and finished the game having allowed three earned runs on nine hits, walked one batter and struck out six.
SCC jumped out in front early when in the bottom of the first inning freshman Gary Rausch (Ocoee, Fla./West Orange) sent a bases-loaded, two out, 0-2 count pitch over the left field wall for a grand-slam home run and a 4-0 Raiders lead.
SCC assembled a healthy, 9-3 lead after Sprague’s six innings pitched when he gave way to freshman reliever Sahn Daniels (Windermere, Fla./Olympia) a right-hander who shutdown Palm Beach over the final three innings of the game, allowing no runs on just a single hit, walking one and striking out two, to earn his first career save.
Cox finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs and a stolen base.
Bradenton, Fla. – Manatee Community College’s relentless offensive attack was too potent for the SCC baseball team as a tight game midway through slipped away from the Raiders, who fell to the Lancers 13-7 at Robert C. Wynn Field Wednesday, Feb. 6 in Bradenton.
SCC starter Owen Dew (0-1) actually outlasted his Manatee counterpart, starting pitcher Max Loveland. Dew threw four innings to Loveland’s three. He yielded five earned runs on 10 hits over four innings of work and did not walk a batter and struck out three.
The Raiders’ quickly turned a 2-0 deficit into a lead on the strength of a run-scoring double by sophomore designated hitter Yazy Arbelo (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll). A wild pitch scored John Leroux (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) ahead of Arbelo, moving Arbelo to third base. Arbelo jogged home on an RBI double off the bat of sophomore outfielder John Vacca (Cape Coral, Fla.). The Raiders would add one more run later in the inning, courtesy of a second run-scoring wild pitch.
The contest would remain close into the seventh inning, when the Lancers’ bats could no longer be held in check. Raiders relievers gave up eight runs over the final two innings of the game.
The Lancers totaled 18 hits during the game. Four different MCC players recorded three hits.
Leesburg, Fla. – Six solid innings of pitching by sophomore Kevin Decker (Washington, Ind./Washington) was not enough to overcome the stifled SCC offense, as SCC was able to muster only three solo homeruns, falling to Lake Sumter Community College for the second time in three days, 4-3 at Laker Field Wednesday, Feb. 4 in Leesburg.
The Raiders offense failed to cash in on several opportunities to score combining to bat 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-9 (.111) with runners on base. Other than the three solo home runs, SCC did not get a runner to third base in the game.
In the fourth inning, trailing 2-0, Yazy Arbelo (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll) propelled a solo home run deep to right field to bring SCC within a 2-1 deficit.
Lake Sumter’s lead would grow to 4-1 heading into the eighth inning. Tyler Cox (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) led off the inning by sending a line drive into the gap in left-center field, only to have the ball fall directly into the glove of Laker outfielder Elliot Martinez. That catch would prove further costly when it was followed by back-to-back home runs by freshman John Leroux (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) and sophomore slugger John Vacca (Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral).
Sophomore Erc Broberg (Sanford, Fla./Bishop Moore) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for SCC.
Four innings of shoddy defense and a lack of clutch hitting left SCC trailing by three runs. Starting pitcher Chris Heston (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) had seen a stellar performance start to slip through the cracks and fall by the wayside. Heston suffered through four unearned runs through four frames pitched. Somehow, the Raiders persevered and rallied to collect their fourth win of the young season defeating Hillsborough Community College, 7-5, Saturday afternoon at the New York Yankees Baseball Complex in Tampa.
Freshman Jeff Eubank (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll)played a key role in the comeback effort, smacking two doubles, connecting on a fifth inning, two-run double to tie the game up 4-4. Eubank got his first career hit, a ground-rule double over the wall in right-center field in the fourth inning and added an infield single in the ninth inning.
SCC took the lead for good in the eighth inning when sophomore catcher Jared Avchen (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside), ripped a double down the left field line driving in Tyler Cox (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) who reached base during all five of his plate appearances Saturday as well as substitute second baseman Roberto Santana (Orlando, Fla./Lake Howell) who singled to open the inning.
Heston’s gritty performance unfortunately, left him with in line for a loss until the Raiders’ late innings heroics let him off the hook. Freshman right-hander Alex Lombardi (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary) allowed only an unearned run over two innings of late-innings middle relief an earned himself a victory (2-0) in the process. Freshman Delgis Soto (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) earned his first save of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth inning, retiring the side in order.
SCC will be off on Super Sunday and return to action on the road Monday in Leesburg against Lake-Sumter Community College. The Raiders will look to avenge the loss suffered on Friday at home. Kevin Decker (0-00, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start of the season versus the Lakers. First pitch at Laker Field is slated for 3 p.m.
SCC baseball (3-2) lost its home opener Friday afternoon to Lake-Sumter Community College (2-3), 8-3 at Raider Field. Sophomore catcher Jared Avchen (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) provided the lone spurt of offense for the Raiders with a first inning two-run home run. SCC managed only one additional run the rest of the way.
After Laker starting pitcher Brandon Laine limited SCC to three runs over five innings the Lakers bullpen provided a riddle that SCC was unable to sole. The Lakers relief corp. salted away the Lake-Sumter lead tossing four shut-out innings allowing just two hits, fanning four batters.
SCC failed to capitalize on several early opportunities to get back in the contest. In the fourth inning, with runners on first and second and third and one, a line drive to the outfield off the bat of Delgis Soto (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) turned into an inning ending double play. The following inning, runners on second and third with no out resulted in only one run courtesy of a balk on Laine sandwiched around a pair of strikeouts from the middle of the batting order. In the sixth inning the Raiders stranded a runner on third with one out. For the game, the Raiders stranded nine runners, seven of which were abandoned in scoring position.
Sophomore centerfielder Tyler Cox (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) reached base three times for SCC on a 2-for-4, two run game. Freshman third baseman Gary Rausch (Ocoee, Fla./Ocoee) was the only other Raider to collect multiple hits.
Adam Sprague (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) was tagged with the loss, surrendering six runs, five earned in three innings pitched. Sprague was successfully relieved by freshman Sahn Daniels (Windermere, Fla./Olympia) who reigned in the Lakers for three plus innings allowing one earned run, issued no walks struck out two batters. Sophomore Eric Broberg (Sanford, Fla./Bishop Moore) made his season debut pitching the final 2.2 innings. Broberg yielded one hit and not a single run to close out the game for SCC.
A seven-run eighth inning, game tying rally proved insufficient to maintain the unblemished record of the SCC baseball team, which suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of St. Petersburg College (4-0), 10-9 Wednesday afternoon at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater.
The Raiders failed to contain St. Pete designated hitter Justin Dalles, who homered twice and went 5-for-5 with 5 RBI. St. Pete scored the decisive run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a home run by right fielder Drew Poulk who scored three times and drove in three runs on the afternoon.
A pair of two-run home runs highlighted a furious comeback from the late deficit. Sophomore John Vacca (Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral) breathed first-life into the Raiders with a pinch-hit two-run jack to left field to trim the St. Pete lead to a 9-6 advantage. Following a strikeout and a base hit, sophomore designated hitter Yazy Arbelo (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll) launched a titanic home run over the monster wall in straightaway centerfield, marked at 400 ft., to draw the Raiders within a run. The Raiders stunning comeback was complete when Gary Rausch (Ocoee, Fla./West Orange) who reached base to begin the inning, drove home Roberto Santana (Orlando, Fla./Lake Howell) who doubled himself into scoring position.
St. Pete put the Raiders in an early hole putting five runs on the board in the first two innings versus Raiders' starter Tye Buckley (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), who lasted just three innings after surrendering eight hits and five earned runs. Buckley was relieved by fellow high school teammate Owen Dew (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) who pitched four innings, three scoreless. Delgis Soto (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) took the loss, pitching for the third time in five days and allowed one run in one inning of work.
In addition to the big swings from the Arbelo and Vacca, SCC received tremendous efforts offensively from center fielder Tyler Cox (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) and freshman first baseman John Leroux (Cocoa. Fla./Cocoa). Cox notched three hits, smashed his second triple of the season and scored a run, while Leroux matched his effort with three hits and a run.
A tie ball game into the ninth inning was quickly put out of reach by a grand slam home run courtesy SCC first baseman Yazy Arbelo (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll). Arbelo capped a five-run ninth inning and secured a 3-0 start for SCC after defeating South Florida Community College (0-3), 7-2 Monday afternoon at Panther Field in Avon Park.
SCC held a slim 1-0 lead through the first five innings of the game until South Florida posted two runs on three hits, capitalizing on an outfield gaffe to grab control of the lead 2-1. The lead would prove tenuous when in the top of the seventh inning an RBI single from Gary Rausch (Ocoee, Fla./West Orange) drove home Roberto Santana (Orlando, Fla./Lake Howell) to knot the game up, 2-2.
In the top of the ninth inning Rausch came through again, this time driving in the go-ahead run. A base hit and intentional walk set the stage for Arbelo's heroics sending the seventh pitch of the at bat, a 3-2 count two out pitch, towering over the right field fence for the four-bagger.
South Florida failed to cash in on several opportunities to score runs, particularly late in the ball game leaving the bases loaded in the eighth inning and nine men on base overall.
SCC newcomer Kevin Decker (Washington, Ind./Washington) was marvelous on the hill starting the game for SCC but was left with a tough-luck no decision. In five innings the sophomore allowed just two hits and no runs, walked just one and punched out five batters.
SCC pitchers fanned 14 batters in the game. The strikeout party was led by relievers Sahn Daniels (Windermere, Fla./Olympia) and Delgis Soto (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) who each pitched an inning of relief work, recording all three of their putouts via the whiff. For his part Alex Lombardi (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary) earned the win (1-0) fanning three batters in two innings of work, issued just two intentional walks and allowed one hit leaving the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
SCC will finish up its four-game season opening road stand with a 3 p.m. matinee game in Clearwater, Jan. 30 against St. Petersburg College at Jack Russell Stadium. SCC will open the home slate of games Friday, Feb. 1 with a 3 p.m. game against Lake-Sumter at Raider Field.
SCC Baseball opened the 2008 triumphantly against Brevard Community College defeating the Titans in the inaugural contest Saturday afternoon at Titan Field in Melbourne. The Raiders jumped in front of BCC early behind the strength of a five-run second inning that kept sophomore southpaw hurler Adam Sprague (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) comfortably ahead throughout the afternoon and allowed the bullpen to coast its way to a 6-0 SCC win.
Sprague pitched four innings of three-hit, shutout baseball striking out four and walking three batters to earn the first win of the season for the Raiders. Sprague struck out the side in order in the first inning.
Alex Lombardi (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary) was the first man to answer the call to the bullpen for SCC in the fifth inning. Lombardi answered the call appropriately whiffing to batters in his lone in inning of relief.
In the sixth inning, freshman left-hander Tye Buckley (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) took the ball for the Raiders and held the Titans in check, whiffing one batter.
Empire state native Delgis Soto (Bronx, N.Y./Monroe) finished the game throwing a scoreless frame in the seventh inning.
In the second inning, three extra-base hits highlighted the five-run rally initiated by freshman shortstop Kai Huff (Floral City, Fla./Hernando) thumped a two-out double down the left field line driving home the first run of the game. Fellow freshman Tim Williams (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) immediately chased Huff with home with a 2-run double of his own. Sophomore center fielder Tyler Cox (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) tripled home Williams with a towering fly ball to straight away centerfield landing just beyond the outstretched glove of Titans centerfielder Chris Taylor. SCC newcomer Jared Avchen (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) then singled in the fifth and final run of the inning to grow the lead to 5-0.
A brief burst of runs late in the game propelled SCC to a come from behind, 2-1 victory in the second half of an Opening Day twin bill. The Raiders of SCC trailed, 1-0 going into the sixth inning before a wild pitch and clutch base hit put them ahead for good Saturday afternoon at Titan Field in Melbourne.
Sophomore Chris Heston (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) seemed to be stuck on the short end of 1-0 ball game for most of the contest. Heston's five innings of three-hit, one run work left him staring down the barrel of a loss.
Tyler Cox (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) would help make a winner out of Heston (1-0) when he scored the game tying run after reaching base with a single for his third hit of the game with one out. Back-to-back wild pitches moved Cox to third when, a hit batsman put a runner at first when Phillip Nungesser uncorked the third wild pitch of the inning for Brevard, scoring the tying run and moving the go-ahead run into scoring position. Pinch runner Adam Sprague (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) sprinted home from second base when sophomore designated hitter Yazy Arbelo (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll) belted home the game winning RBI slapping a single through the right side of the infield.
Freshman Sahn Daniels (Windermere, Fla./Olympia) earned the save for SCC posting two flawless frames in a one-run ball game. Daniels struck two batters, facing the minimum six batters over two innings.
Cox finished the game 3-for-3 with a double and run scored for SCC and extended his personal hitting streak to 18 games dating back to the 2007 season.
SCC faces the South Florida Community College Panthers Monday, Jan. 28 at Panther Field in Avon Park. Game time is set for 5 p.m. EST. Sophomore right-hander Kevin Decker (Washington, Ind./Washington) is expected to make his Raider debut.
SCC head coach Mike Nicholson recently announced the Raiders' 2008 schedule. The 56-game slate includes 13 games versus teams that qualified for the 2007 FCCAA State Tournament.
"The schedule is challenging and unlike any other we've played before," stated SCC head coach Mike Nicholson. "We have a good, solid non-conference schedule and as always a strong Mid-Florida schedule of games."
Nicholson will begin his eighth season at the helm Saturday, Jan. 26 on the road with a doubleheader at Brevard CC. The two-game set with the Titans marks the fourth straight season SCC has opened against Brevard.
SCC begins the season with eight of its first nine games on the road. The first nine contests of the season will be played in a span of just 12 calendar days. The schedule features seven non-conference doubleheaders, the most doubleheaders the Raiders have played in a single season since the Mid-Florida Conference used a double-header format in 2003.
Several of the nation's elite junior college programs will make a trip to Raider Field in 2008. SCC will host nationally ranked Palm Beach CC on Feb. 8 in the first-ever meeting between schools.
A visit from St. Petersburg College on Feb. 13 opens a season-high 11-game home stand for the Raiders that features a Feb. 16 visit from Miami-Dade College for a doubleheader, as well as a Feb. 20 match up against Manatee CC. All three teams were ranked in the NJCAA Top 25 poll in the 2007 season. The 11-game home stand is a record under head coach Mike Nicholson.
Among the eight teams to qualify for the 2007 FCCAA State Tournament, six will make appearances at Raider Field in 2008. SCC will play 18 of its final 19 non-conference games at home in 2008.
In the Mid-Florida, the 24-game schedule opens with home-and-home series against each of the six Mid-Florida Conference foes. The remaining 12 games will be played in a round-robin format.