Lakeland, FLA (WFIE) - The Kentucky Wesleyan College baseball team strung together some more late inning magic on Friday, but the come back fell short again, this time 9-8 to nationally ranked No. 4 Florida Southern College.
The Mocs scored two runs each in the second, third and fourth inning to jump out to a 6-2 lead.
Wesleyan responded in the top of the seventh with a trio of hits to plate one run. Cam Curry got things started with a leadoff double to right field and reached third on a base hit from Ben Wilcoxson. With two outs and two on, Kennemore singled to centerfield, scoring Curry to make it a 6-3 ballgame.
Florida Southern extended its lead to 9-3 in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run home run.
The Panthers offense woke up in the final two innings with six hits over the two frames. Ostin Clarkled off the eighth with a single to left field. With runners on the corners and two outs, Levi Tanner reached first on a fielding error by the second baseman, allowing Jed Arend to score and Curry to move to third. Wilcoxson dropped a double down the left field line, scoring Curry to make it 9-5 in the eighth inning.
Kirkland led off the top of the ninth with a single to left field. Pinch hitter Ryan Hinkley stepped up with a single to right field, moving Kirkland into scoring position. Joe Burke made it a one-run game with a three-run home run to left field, his second straight game with a dinger in the ninth inning. The Panthers couldn't keep the momentum going, taking a 9-8 loss.
Chris Johnson pitched the first two innings, allowing two runs off of one hit while striking out two. Spencer Jackson suffered his first loss of the season, giving up two runs off of three hits. Nate Verst, Ryan Hundley, Sammy Holder, Alex Franzen and Curry all threw one inning in the predetermined lineup. Holder, Franzen and Curry each struck out two while Hundley and Verst tabbed one.
Kirkland and Curry each went two-for-five at the plate while Wilcoxson finished two-for-four. Burke led the Panthers with three runs driven in.
Wesleyan returns to action on Tuesday with a doubleheader at Oakland City with first pitch set for 12 pm CT.