BSB: Sand Sharks break out bats to split with FMU

After searching for their offense in game one Friday, the USCB Sand Sharks found their groove in the rematch. Brian Bromley delivered with a complete-game shutout, and the Sand Sharks bounced back from a 4-1 loss to crush Florida Memorial 10-0 in a Sun Conference-opening doubleheader split on the road.

USCB found the scoreboard first in game one, as Nick Milhan picked up an RBI groundout in the second inning after Kyran Russ put two runners in scoring position with a double. But the home Lions evened the game in the home half with a pair of hits and an error. FMU carried the momentum into the third, taking the lead with a two-run homer from Jacquel Perry.

Sand Shark standout Matt Malatesta kept his squad within two runs, throwing a pair of no-hit frames in the fourth and fifth. USCB had a shot to cut into the FMU lead in the fifth with two on and nobody out, but Jonaikel Acosta retired the next three to end the threat. Florida Memorial tacked on one more run in the seventh, and Acosta held off the Sand Sharks the rest of the way, stranding two on base in the ninth to finish the complete-game victory.

But the second contest was all Sand Sharks. A first-inning double steal set up an Alexander Humphrey sacrifice fly to open the scoring. USCB doubled down in the second, adding two more runs on terrific offensive execution. Russ knocked a double to left to send in a run, and Daniel Searles brought him home with an RBI single through the left side to make it 3-0.

Leandy Castro tacked on another with a solo homer in the third before the Sand Sharks blew it open with a four-run fourth. Milhan picked up an RBI single before Castro dealt the massive blow, coming in clutch with a bases-clearing double down the left field line to plate three and give USCB a commanding 8-0 lead.

Russ capped off his tremendous day with a two-RBI single in the sixth to stretch it to 10. Bromley polished off a masterful complete-game shutout in the seventh, striking out a pair to finish with nine in the game.

Castro paced  the offense with a monster game two, going 4-for-5 with a double, a homer, and four RBI. Milhan was ultra-reliable in the second contest with a 3-for-4 game alongside an RBI and a walk. Russ produced at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI.

USCB (5-4, 1-1) looks to take the series in the rubber game Sunday.

By Wes Kerr

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