Bucs Drop Shootout With Pioneers

Justin Thomas (Photo by Roy Allen)
Justin Thomas (Photo by Roy Allen)
FORT MYERS, Fla.- 17 hits and four home runs weren't enough for the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers on Tuesday as the Indian River State Pioneers scored in eight of nine innings in a 16-12 shootout win at Buccaneers Park in Fort Myers. 
Things couldn't have gotten off to much of a worse start for the Bucs who watched as Indian River scored their first run on a pair of walks, a hit batter, and an FSW error before a grand slam put the Pioneers in front 5-0 after a half inning of play. 
The Bucs answered right back in the bottom of the 1st as Victor Figueroa, Nate Earley, and Jared Davis banged base hits to drive home runs before a safety squeeze from Cooper Clapp got the Bucs back to within one at 5-4 after a wild 1st inning of action. 
Indian River got a run in the top of the 2nd, but once again the Bucs answered back as Luca Danos picked up his second knock in the first two innings with an RBI double down the right field line before Earley ripped a single to right to drive him home and level the score at 6 a piece after two. 
Indian River kept scoring, getting one in the 3rd and two more in the 4th to retake the lead 9-6 at the end of four. 
It was more of the same in the 5th as the Pioneers tacked on three more to make it a six run game before Earley launched a solo home run in the bottom of the inning to stop six unanswered runs for Indian River to make it a 12-7 game. 
Indian River put up their third straight crooked number in the 6th to extend their lead to 14-7 and a double play ended an FSW scoring chance in the bottom of the inning to keep it that way through six. 
The Bucs got their only scoreless inning in the top of the 7th and the offense responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Michael McAloose and a two run homer from Clapp to cut the Pioneer lead to 14-10. 
After a run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 8th for Indian River, the Bucs inched closer in the bottom of the inning as Justin Thomas and Luca Danos launched solo home runs to draw FSW back to within three at 15-12 as the teams went to the 9th. 
Indian River tacked on an unearned insurance run in the 9th but they wouldn't need it as the Bucs were unable to mount a comeback in their final at bats as the Pioneers finished off a wild 16-12 win at Buccaneers Park. 
The Bucs outhit the Pioneers 17-14 in the loss as all nine FSW starters had a hit and six of nine had multiple hit contests.  Earley finished 3-5 with a homer and three RBIs while Clapp was 2-4 and homered and drove in three of his own. Josiah Velazquez was collared with the loss on the mound for FSW, allowing three hits and two runs in two innings of work to fall to 1-2 on the year. 
FSW drops their fourth game in their last five outings, dropping to 21-14 overall while Indian River improves to 24-9 on the year. 
The Bucs turn their attention back to Citrus Conference play on Thursday when they make the long trip across the state to Daytona Beach to take on Daytona State in a 3 PM first pitch from the Surf Coast.