CF (3-6-1) shook off the frustrating six-game road swing that ended Monday with a near-comeback at Polk behind a dominant pitching effort from Clint Cronin. The freshman righthander, a former high school quarterback who joined the Patriots at the holiday break, struck out 14 Vikings over 7 innings.
Despite his efforts, Cronin didn't figure in the decision - the offensive charge came immediately upon his exit. Yoenny Gonzalez smashed a go-ahead 2-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to put the Patriots up 5-4 and bring his RBI total for the game to 4. Casey Smit and Josh Whitchurch added RBI singles and Scott Schaub had 2 hits for CF.
Reliable reliever Kyle Leja finished the job on the mound, hurling a scoreless eighth and ninth to earn the win.
CF will look to continue its home-field success this weekend, hosting South Florida at 3 p.m. Friday and Gulf Coast in a noon doubleheader Saturday.