Central Florida's baseball season came to a disappointing end Friday with an 18-8 loss at Santa Fe. The loss eliminated the Patriots from contention for the Mid-Florida Conference's second FCCAA State Tournament berth.
Needing a win and a St. Johns River loss to force a playoff for that coveted postseason berth, the Patriots came out ready to hold up their side of that equation with some early offensive fireworks. CF went up 5-3 through 3 innings behind Hunter Smith's 2-run home run and Jordan Zech's 2-run double, and a 2-run homer by Dru Jones padded the lead to 7-3 an inning later.
That was the last lead the Patriots would hold. The Saints, who entered the game already crowned as MFC champions, surged ahead with a 9-run fourth inning and tacked on a few insurance runs for the runaway victory.
CF must now reflect on a midseason six-game losing streak that sabotaged a 9-5 start to conference play and rendered a three-game winning streak entering Friday insufficient. The Patriots' season ends at 27-20 overall and an even 12-12 in conference play.
Friday's game was the last any Patriots team will play under the name of Central Florida Community College. The school becomes College of Central Florida on May 25.