Bucs Complete Huge Comeback For Series Win

Photo by Roy Allen
Photo by Roy Allen
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Florida SouthWestern Buccaneers showed some fight to win their first Southern Conference series Saturday afternoon, turning a six run deficit midway through their game against the Indian River Pioneers to a six run win, 15-9 to improve to 17-10 on the year.  
The scoring started early and was often as Indian River got two in the top half of the 1st and the Bucs quickly responded in the bottom half as Sergio Rivera doubled to start the frame and AJ Shaver drilled a two run home run the other way one batter later to even the game at 2.  
Indian River retook the lead on a three run home run in the 3rd and tacked another run on later in the inning to make it 6-2 Pioneers at the end of three.  
The Pioneers added to their lead in the 4th with another long ball to make it 8-2.  
The Bucs comeback began in the 5th as Derek Williams shot a single the other way to drive in a run before Anthony Westbrook unloaded on a 3-1 pitch deep and out to right for a three run home run to get FSW back to within two at 8-6 at the end of five complete.  
Colin Brodeur put up a huge zero for the Bucs in the top of the 6th and the FSW offense continued to chip away in the bottom half, getting a run on a balk to close the Pioneers lead to just one at 8-7. 
Indian River manufactured a run on a pair of hits and a sacrifice in the 7th to get one back and make it a 9-7 game at stretch time. 
The Bucs quickly answered in the bottom of the 7th as Eddie-Boe Rodriguez lifted a sac fly to right to get the Bucs back to within one and on the first pitch he saw as a pinch hitter, Johnnie Lopez smoked a double to the gap to drive home a run and level the score at 9 a piece. The Bucs weren't done there though as a wild pitch scored Lopez to give FSW the lead and they tacked on two more before all was said and done as Shaver ripped an RBI double and Joel Gardner lined a single the other way to score him to give FSW their first lead of the game at 12-9 after seven. 
Bucs reliever Lucas Hartman worked a quick 1-2-3 to of the 8th for FSW and the Bucs added three insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning on RBI doubles from Rodriguez, Rivera, and Shaver to make it 15-9 FSW as the game went to the 9th. 
Zach Locke came in out of the FSW bullpen and slammed the door in the 9th, retiring the Pioneers in order while striking out a pair to seal up a 15-9 win for the Bucs to clinch the series victory. 
The Bucs banged out 16 hits in the win with each of the first six hitters in the FSW order recording multi-hit games.  Shaver led the way going 3-6 with a homer, two doubles, and four RBIs while Westbrook finished 2-4 with a homer and three driven in.  Lost in the offensive explosion late was the work of the Bucs bullpen who turned in another big time effort going 1 2/3 scoreless innings when the Bucs needed it the most to earn the win and improve to 3-0 on the year. 
FSW wins their maiden series as a member of the Southern Conference, improving to 17-10 overall and 2-1 in conference play.  Indian River drops to 15-9 and begins league play 1-2. 
The Bucs will take a quick trip out of conference play Tuesday when they welcome Elgin from Illinois to Buccaneers Park in Fort Myers before beginning a key three game series with Southern Conference leading Miami Dade Wednesday in Miami.