This past week I went to my first game of the 2016 season, and more importantly, the first game with my son. Good times.
I was excited about this series a little more than most D2 games since St. Leo is nationally ranked, being selected the #19 in the Sunshine State Conference by Perfect Game. One of the big reasons for the high ranking are the Lions top three position players, Alex Mata, Troy Siedler and Dylan Harris, who are all returning from strong 2015 campaigns.
Unfortunately for this series, Dylan Harris was out for this series with an injury.
The two games I went to were very competitive, though Hawaii came out on top for both. In the first game Hawaii Pacific’s Rico Garcia went 8 IP, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and striking out 5. Its easy to see why he will likely be wearing a pro uniform this time next season.
In the second game both teams battered the starting pitchers, but HPU would hold off St. Leo 7-6. Both games would be closed by HPU’s Brandon Bonilla, who looks like he will be a dominant closer this season.
I ended up getting three autographs at the game: Alex Mata, Troy Siedler and Dylan Harris.
Alex Mata, 2b, is hitting .242 with 1 HR this season. Last season he hit .341/.379/.479.
Dylan Harris, if, who was name a 2016 First Team All-South Region selection, is currently out with an injury. Last season he hit .403/.461/.542 and was selected to the Daktronics All-South Region Second Team and All-Sunshine State Conference Honorable Mention.
Troy Sieber, 1b, is hitting .269/.406/.462 and was a 2016 First Team All-South Region selection. Last season he hit .333/.441/.649 with 14 HR and was selected to the ABCA/Rawlings All-South Second Team, Daktronics All-South Second Team, NCBWA All-South Second Team, All-SSC First Team and a Tino Martinez Award Semifinalist. An impressive resume.