Shortly after completing their suspended game from Friday night against Wingate, the Florida Tech Panthers were back on the diamond to play their regularly scheduled game against Valdosta State Saturday morning and came up on the short end of a 2-0 score.
The Panthers were held to three hits in this contest, two by Jakob Newton who finished the day 2-for-3. The other hit came off the bat of Zac Orchard.
Sam Crocker got the start for the Panthers and pitched well, only to be let down by his defense and see the bats go cold. Crocker picked a runner off in the second and induced a double play in the fourth, but he ran into trouble in the sixth.
Dalton Murray singled to right field and went to third on a throwing error. The next batter was Luke Suchon and he reached on an error at third base, allowing Murray to score.
Blazers starter Sean Gabel threw six shutout innings, before giving way to Matt Weidenbach in the seventh. He sent the Panthers down in order in the frame. Crocker was lifted at the start of the seventh inning after allowing three hits and one earned run through six. He walked two and struck out three.
Rhett Willis got the call out of the pen and was greeted rudely by an Andy Haughton double. A ground ball off the bat of Elias Macias got Haughton to third and he came home on another throwing error by the Panthers. Willis came back to strike out the next two VSU batters, but the damage was done and the Blazers lead was now 2-0.
Florida Tech (1-4) threatened in the top of the eighth. Rodnie Bernard drew a walk and took second on a wild pitch. Reliever Cooper Cain came in for Valdosta State and threw a pitch that his catcher struggled with, allowing Bernard to go to third on a passed ball. Panthers leadoff man Raul Quintero came up as the tying run, but he struck out, ending the inning.
Daniel Szpik led off the Panthers ninth with a walk and went to second on a wild pitch but he would get no further as Quinton Forrester was brought in to get the final two outs.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Valdosta State Box Score
The Panthers close out the tournament Sunday at 2:00 p.m. against host Flagler College