SEMINOLE — St. Petersburg starter David Sockol never wavered after falling behind to Osceola in the first inning Friday. The hard-throwing lefty kept his composure, feeling confident in his abilities, as well as feeling certain the Green Devils’ rejuvenated bats would come alive.
The Green Devils’ took a 5-2 lead on Aaron Haughton’s three-run blast and St. Petersburg never looked back, upsetting Osceola 7-4 to end the Warriors’ three-game winning streak.
“I got down 2-0 and I made a few mistakes, and I just had to come right back,” Sockol (3-2) said. “I had to go out there and throw strikes and let the defense do the work.”
Osceola (11-3) got on the board in the first on a two-RBI double by Justin Kremer. It appeared the Warriors were going knock Sockol out early, getting their first four baserunners on to start the game.
“(Sockol) needed to find his rhythm,” St. Petersburg coach Travis Phelps said. “The game was a little bit ahead of him and he needed to make the adjustments, and I wasn’t worried about him at all at that point.”
Defensively St. Petersburg (8-5) was tremendous, turning a 6-4-3 double play to end the second inning and catching Osceola’s Jaret Helinger out at third while attempting to dig for a three-base hit.
Scoring 34 runs the past two games, the Green Devils’ bats quickly erupted with an RBI single from Blake Bryant in the second, followed by an RBI sacrifice fly from Robert Sulte in the third.
Haughton drove in the rest of St. Petersburg’s runs, with his home run to centerfield in the third, and RBI sacrifice flies in the fifth and seventh innings. He finished 1-for-2 with five RBIs.
The Warriors rallied in the seventh on an RBI single by Rickey Whiteman, making the score 7-4. Helinger grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.