Central Florida vaulted back into first place in the Mid-Florida Conference on Saturday, finishing off a home-and-home sweep of FSC-Jacksonville with an 8-2 win on the road.
Kyle Bright pitched 6 solid innings to earn the win, allowing 4 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 9. Tim Luksha picked up a heavy-duty save with 3 shutout innings of relief.
Offensively, Dru Jones went 2-for-5 with a double and a home run, Matt Jones added a double and Hunter Smith drove in 2 runs.
The victory moves the Patriots (23-12, 8-4 MFC) back atop the standings, and this time they don't have company. Daytona State and Lake-Sumter, which entered Saturday in a two-way tie for first, took losses to St. Johns River and Santa Fe, respectively, to fall to 7-5 in conference and out of the top spot.
Even with the conference back in its grasp, however, CF can't breathe easy. The SJR and Santa Fe wins also improved those schools to 7-5, meaning there's a four-way tie for second place just one game behind the front-running Patriots. And CF plays each of those schools twice apiece over the remaining four weeks of the regular season, so there's plenty of time and opportunity for the conference deck to re-shuffle.
The Patriots' effort to pad their narrow advantage begins Monday with a visit to Seminole.