Raiders' Lane leads the way in 8-1 victory over Gulf Coast
Sophomore pitcher Matt Lane
3/29/2011 – VICTORY LANE
Raiders' sophomore pitcher raises record to 7-1 in win
By ADAM ROSENBERG Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4484 | email@example.com
NICEVILLE — The gaggle of scouts sitting behind home plate at Northwest Florida State College on Monday probably left the ballpark with plenty of good things to write down in their notebooks about Raider starting pitcher Matt Lane.
Lane continued his dominant sophomore year by baffling a talented Gulf Coast Community College lineup, as he gave up just one unearned run in eight innings of work to lead the No. 10 Raiders to an 8-1 victory in their series opener with the Commodores. With the win, the Raiders (27-8, 7-3) maintain at least a share of first place in the Panhandle Conference. Chipola, which played at Pensacola State on Monday, entered the day tied with the Raiders for first place.
Lane entered the day with a 1.54 ERA and improved to 7-1 on the season by scattering six hits over his eight innings of work. He only recorded two strikeouts, but walked none and coaxed numerous off-balance swings from the defending Panhandle Conference champions.
"He really threw the ball good," NWF State coach Doug Martin said. "He has been doing that a lot for us. It's nice when you have a guy that can go out there and give you a chance to win all the time."
While Lane calmly maneuvered through the Gulf Coast lineup, the Commodores (19-16, 4-6) sent seven pitchers to the mound throughout the game. Starter Corey Kinglsey went just two scoreless innings, followed by another scoreless frame from Christo Jones.
However, the Raiders finally broke through in the fourth against left-hander Matt Arguello. NWF State plated three runs in the inning, two of which came on a single by Anthony Iacomini.
The Commodores picked up an unearned run in the fifth before NWF State broke it open in the sixth. The Raiders batted around, as two hits, two walks and a Gulf Coast error lead to four runs. Iacomini, Ben Hernandez, Danny Collins and Josh McGee all drove in runs in the inning to give the Raiders a commanding 7-1 lead.
"Sometimes it's a little difficult when every time you come to the plate, you're seeing a new pitcher," Martin said. "Even though we didn't score that many early, I thought we hit the ball well. We had 11 hits and eight runs. When your hits and runs are fairly close, you're doing a good job."
Iacomini finished the day with a hit and three RBIs, while Hernandez, Collins and McGee added two hits and an RBI apiece. The win was a nice way to resume play after a week off for the red-hot Raiders, who travel to Panama City on Wednesday to try to clinch their fourth series win in as many tries in conference play.
"Winning the first one definitely sets the tone for the rest of the series," Iacomini said. "We were able to do it at home, which is a great way to do it."