Goldsmith homer, strong pitching carry Vikings over Gulf Coast

The St. Johns River State College baseball team stayed ahead Thursday, even when Gulf Coast State was in front on the scoreboard.

Three pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts and only one walk as the Vikings clipped the host Commodores 3-2 on the first day of the Kevin Miller Classic in Panama City. Jimmy Goldsmith’s solo homer in the eighth broke a 2-2 tie as St. Johns improved to 4-1. Gulf Coast is 2-2.

“It was a well-pitched game for both sides – a very well-pitched game,” said SJR State coach Ross Jones. “Our pitchers stayed out of three-ball counts and worked ahead all night long. Luke Sutko again was outstanding.”

Sutko (1-0), who picked up a save Sunday against Abraham Baldwin, took over with one out in the seventh inning and finished for his first collegiate victory. He struck out three, walked none and allowed one hit. Working on a pitch count of 80, starter Jaison Heard left after getting the first out in the sixth inning, allowing one run on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Jagger McCoy followed and worked into the seventh.

The Commodores broke on top with a run in the second. The Vikings took their first lead in the sixth. Kerry Carpenter singled, scoring when Jordan Farmer tripled to left center. Goldsmith followed with a fly ball to deep left, scoring Farmer.

Gulf Coast got one of the runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but didn’t have an answer after Goldsmith drove a 1-2 delivery out to right center in the eighth.

Farmer, Carpenter, Francis Villaman and Pablo Cedeno had two hits apiece, Goldsmith and Riley Wash one each.

“The middle part of our order, two through five, had seven hits and real competitive at-bats,” Jones said.

SJR State’s only error was a catcher interference call. Farmer made the defensive play of the day in the sixth when the center fielder went horizontal to snag a potential two-run double.

The Miller Classic continues today as the Vikings play Georgia’s Gordon State College.

Palatka Daily News

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