Jack Slavin matched a program record with a five-hit afternoon, but the USCB Sand Sharks couldn’t hold down a lethal St. Thomas offense, falling 12-8 on Monday as the Bobcats completed the three-game Sun Conference series sweep in Hardeeville.
The visitors didn’t waste any time getting the offense rolling, as St. Thomas put six runs across the plate in the first inning. USCB had a golden opportunity to strike right back, but the Sand Sharks stranded the bases loaded in the bottom half and came up empty.
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The home side kept battling and found the scoresheet in the second, as Leandy Castro smacked a two-run double to make it a 6-2 ballgame, but St. Thomas extended the advantage right back in the third, scoring three runs off two hits and an error.
Wesley Ambrose and the red-hot Slavin tallied RBIs to trim the lead to 9-4 in the bottom half before the Bobcats added two more in the fourth to restore the seven-run advantage. UCSB’s Clint Sellers cranked a two-RBI triple, cutting the lead to five in the seventh.
St. Thomas tacked on one more in the top of the eighth, but the Sand Sharks continued to fight, as Slavin’s scorching bat drove in two more runs, trimming the lead to 12-8 with one inning to play. But Jason Graňa shut it down in the ninth for the Bobcats to complete the sweep.
Slavin delivered a game for the ages, going 5-for-5 at the plate with three RBIs. The junior’s feat was the eighth five-hit game in program history, and the first since April 8, 2016, when Max Balter delivered a quintet of hits against Webber International.
USCB (6-7, 2-4) is right back at it Tuesday, traveling to Edward Waters for a doubleheader.
By Wes Kerr