EIGHT CONFERENCE TITLES (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987)

Colonels mash five homers in Florida finale

Colonels mash five homers in Florida finale

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Centre baseball launched five home runs Wednesday, ending their spring break trip in Florida at the RussMatt Invitational with an 8-7 victory against Juniata College.

The Colonels' five dingers were more than they've had in four of the last six complete seasons, and pushed their total to 11 this year – most since hitting a dozen in 2012.

The long balls pushed Centre to 12-8 overall, while the Eagles fell to 4-9.

Mason Falbo (Mississauga, Ontario) began the affair with a two-run homer in the top of the first, driving in Drew Schacht (Lexington Ky.) with his third bomb of the season.

Centre's lead grew in the second on a solo homerun from Quinn Andrews (Chicago) to lead off the frame. Casey Klein (Louisville, Ky.) made it 4-0 after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Juniata would get on the board with solo homeruns in the third and fourth innings, making it 4-2.

Cameron Duggins (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit his first homer of the season in the top of the fifth, but the Eagles plated four in the bottom of the inning to take their first lead.

After a game-tying RBI single from Klein in the sixth, the Eagles took what may have been the final lead on Adam Kipp's RBI double in the bottom of the eighth.

Down 7-6 and down to three outs, the Colonels rallied with a pair of solo dingers.

Parker Selin (Lexington, Ky.) led off with a homer, and Will Kirk (Morgantown, N.C.) hit what proved to be the game-winning blast with two outs, making it 8-7.

Schacht tossed the final two innings on the mound, striking out two while earning the winning decision.

Chris Esselman (Louisville, Ky.) got the start and threw three innings, fanning seven batters and allowing just one run. All told, Centre's pitching staff struck out a season-best 15 opposing batters.

Having won three of five games during their Florida swing, the Colonels return to Southern Athletic Association play with a three-game tilt at Rhodes beginning Friday.