LAND O'LAKES — The rain dance finally attracted some dark clouds.
After Thursday's 13-1 win against Hernando, Land O'Lakes players recounted the flood of offense lacking in many games to this point.
"It's a feeling of gratification because everyone says we should be here," junior Steven Rosario said. "We weren't here, but now we're at the level we finally expect ourselves to be playing at."
The Gators (7-3) officially had six hits, but there was plenty of hard hitting resulting in several Leopards miscues. Hernando (5-6) committed five errors — two directly leading to runs as did a passed ball.
"I'm hoping this is the beginning for us," Land O'Lakes coach Calvin Baisley said. "We've struggled swinging the bat, big time. We hit the balls hard. We've been getting guys on base not being able to get the key hits."
The hot bats belonged to Alex Estes and Rosario.
Estes gave the Gators a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning. That was followed by an RBI single from Austin Aubuchon.
In the third and leading 4-0 after a run scored on a passed ball, Rosario cashed in on a bases-loaded double to right-center, scoring three runs.
Gators Tommy Cook and Nick Pardo each had RBI singles, Pardo accounting for two runs for an 11-0 lead in the nine-run third inning.
On the mound was Gators ace Jason Garcia, who finished with seven strikeouts, six hits and one walk for his third win. Two hits came in the top of the fifth, including an RBI single by the Leopards' Preston Royal to score Austin McNeal.
"It's been hard as a team and we've been struggling all season," Estes said. "Our team's finally starting to pick each other up. "