The USCB baseball team ran its winning streak to seven games and continued the best start in program history with a 4-1 victory over visiting Florida Memorial on Friday at Richard Gray Sports Complex.
The Sand Sharks (17-2, 9-1) padded their lead atop the Sun Conference standings by claiming the opener of the three-game league series.
John Gora (4-0) turned in another strong outing on the mound to earn the win, and Blake Drew pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season and the 12th of his career, moving ahead of Kyle McCullough as USCB’s all-time leader.
Gora repeatedly worked out of jams, allowing one unearned run and nine hits over seven innings to lower his season ERA to 0.25. The senior left-hander struck out three and walked two.
Leadoff man Matt Kianka went 3-for-4 with an RBI, Kal Davis was 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Nick Payne drove in two runs to lead the offense.
Davis opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third, and the Sand Sharks added another run on Kianka’s RBI single an inning later.
The Lions (4-12, 1-3) broke through in the fifth with the help of a USCB error, but Payne’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning made it 3-1 and the junior catcher added an RBI double down the left-field line in the seventh to plate an insurance run.
The series concludes with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. USCB will send right-handers Jamie Strock (4-1, 2.48 ERA) and Julio De Pena (2-1, 1.63) to the mound.