Burch Punches Out 11 For Bucs in Series Opening Win

Landen Burch (Photo by Roy Allen)
Landen Burch (Photo by Roy Allen)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- Landen Burch struck out 11 and Cooper Clapp homered as the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers earned a 9-3 win over the Daytona State Falcons in the two team's Citrus Conference series opener Thursday afternoon on the Surf Coast. 
Things got off to an inauspicious start for the Bucs as Daytona started their half of the 1st with back to back doubles to plate a run and later in the inning cashed in another to take an early 2-0 lead on FSW. 
The Bucs tied things up with one swing of the bat in the 2nd as Cooper Clapp launched his fifth home run of the season over the right field wall to level the score at 2. 
A refocused Bucs starter, Landen Burch, punched out the side in the bottom of the 2nd to keep the score tied and FSW took their first lead of the game in their next at bats as Nate Earley doubled home a pair and Michael McAloose drove him in to make it 5-2 Bucs at the end of 2 1/2. 
The Bucs added one in the 4th and another in the 5th on a double from Jared Davis to pad the lead to 7-2 and for the second time in the game Burch struck out the side in the bottom of the 5th to keep it a 7-2 game through five innings of action. 
Burch left after six solid innings and the Falcons took advantage as they plated a run against the Bucs bullpen in the 7th to make it a 7-3 game. 
FSW added a pair of insurance runs in the 8th but they wouldn't need them as Bucs reliever Brandon Gonsalves closed out the Falcons with a pair of scoreless frames to give FSW a 9-3 win in the series opener. 
Bucs put together his best start as a Buc in the win, going six innings and allowing just four hits and two runs, both in the 1st inning, while striking out a career high 11 to improve to 2-2 on the year. Gonsalves earned his third save of the season with three innings of one run ball out of the bullpen with 5 strikeouts. Earley led the offense, going 2-4 with a double and three RBIs while Figueroa and Clapp both drove in a pair in the win. 
FSW remains in first place in the Citrus Conference standings as they improve to 22-14 overall and 13-6 in league play while Daytona falls to 13-18 on the season and 5-14 in conference play. 
The Bucs and Falcons will continue the series on Saturday in Fort Myers with a doubleheader scheduled for noon at Buccaneers Park.