Cotto's Gem Seals Series Win For Bucs

Enrique Cotto (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)
Enrique Cotto (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Needing a win to clinch a series victory in their first Suncoast Conference series of the year, the Florida SouthWestern State Baseball team turned to Enrique Cotto Friday afternoon at City of Palms Park as they took on Polk State.  Cotto came through, and then some, throwing a complete game while striking out a career high 12 in a 2-1 FSW victory to give the Bucs a 2-1 series win over the Eagles.  
FSW struck first in the bottom of the 1st when Tommy Joseph crushed a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right center to give the Bucs an early 1-0 lead.  
Bucs starter Enrique Cotto struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 2nd and FSW added an unearned run in the 3rd to double their lead to 2-0.  
Cotto continued to cruise through the middle innings, striking out two more to run his game total to 10 in the 6th, keeping the Bucs ahead 2-0. 
Polk finally broke through in the 7th, getting back to back doubles to plate their first run, but Cotto got a groundout to end any further chance of damage to keep the Bucs ahead 2-1 at stretch time.  
Cotto remained in the game in the 8th and worked a 1-2-3 frame, but the Bucs went down in order in their half of the inning as well as the teams quickly moved to the 9th with the score still 2-1. 
Head Coach Ben Bizier went back to his workhorse in the 9th and he delivered, working around a one out single to finish off his first complete game as a Buc, locking down a 2-1 win for FSW. 
The game featured just nine hits, five for FSW and four for Polk State. Joseph's home run was the only extra base hit in the contest. 
Cotto went the distance,  allowing just four hits and one run while striking out a career high 12 to improve to 2-1 on the year.  
The Bucs take the series to move to 2-1 in Suncoast Conference play while improving to 15-9 overall on the year.  Polk falls to 12-11 overall and 1-2 in league play.  
The Bucs are back at it on Saturday in Tampa when they open a three game set with Hillsborough in a 1 PM start.  They return home to take on the Hawks in game two of the series Monday at 6 PM.