Bucs Punch Ticket to Final Four, Complete Sweep of Saints

Photo by Bill Parmeter
Photo by Bill Parmeter
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Jordan Huskey threw seven solid innings and Jared Davis drove in the game winning run in the 8th inning as the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers defeated the Santa Fe Saints 3-2 to sweep the Fort Myers Regional and advance to the FCSAA State Tournament Final Four for the first time since the 2021 season. 
Playing as the road team on their home field at Buccaneers Park, FSW wasted little time in jumping on the Saints as Justin Thomas led off the game with a ground rule double to left center and scored a short time later when Victor Figueroa banged a two bagger of his own to put the Bucs on top early 1-0. 
It took the Saints three innings to level things up as they left a pair on in the 2nd , but were able to come through with a run scoring single in the 3rd to draw even at 1-1 before a big double play ball got Bucs starter Jordan Huskey out of a jam to keep the game tied after three. 
The Bucs took the lead back right away as Jared Davis launched a solo home run deep and out to left to leadoff the 4th to make it a 2-1 game in favor of FSW. 
Santa Fe came right back at the Bucs in the bottom half of the inning, loading the bases with two outs, but Huskey wiggled out of trouble again with a groundout to leave the sacks packed to keep FSW in front 2-1. 
Neither team could muster any offense through the middle innings as the game remained 2-1 after six innings of action. 
The Bucs went down in order 1-2-3 in the top of the 7th to keep it a 2-1 game into stretch time but Santa Fe banged back to back two out singles to chase a run home in the bottom half of the frame to even the score back up at 2 at the end of seven. 
The Bucs patience was key in the 8th as Thomas and Figueroa worked back to back walks to start the inning before Davis came through with a two out single back up the middle to bring Thomas home and put the Bucs back in front 3-2. 
Brandon Gonsalves came in out of the Bucs bullpen and was dialed in in the 8th, working a quick 1-2-3 frame with a pair of strikeouts to keep FSW in front 3-2. 
The Bucs came to bat in the 9th looking for some insurance but weren't able to get any after a double play wiped out a leadoff single by Michael McAloose to keep it a one run game into the bottom of the 9th. 
The Saints put the tying run on right away in the 9th on a leadoff single, but a good play at second from Davis and a pop out down the left field line got FSW within one out of victory with the equalizer still stuck on first. After getting ahead in the count 0-2, Gonsalves induced a can of corn to left and it fell in the glove of Bucs left fielder Eric Blair for the third out to seal up the 3-2 win and start the celebration for FSW. 
Huskey went seven strong innings, scattering nine hits and allowing just two runs to pick up the win to improve to 7-4 on the year. Gonsalves threw two scoreless frames to earn his fifth save of the year. The Bucs were actually outhit 10-6 in the contest, but the Saints stranded 12 baserunners in the defeat. Davis was the lone Buc with multiple hits in the game, going 2-3 with a homer and two different go ahead RBIs including the game winner in the 8th. 
FSW sweeps the best two out of three series, improving to 37-19 overall on the year while Santa Fe sees their season come to an end at 31-22. 
For the first time in the regional era, the Bucs advance to the FCSAA State Tournament Final Four where they will take on #6 Northwest Florida Friday at 5 PM in Tampa's  George Steinbrenner Stadium.