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Panthers Lose to Wingate in 11 Innings

Ty Cohen (41) Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers were in St. Augustine Florida on Friday, taking on the Wingate Bulldogs in the nightcap of the Flagler Kickoff Classic. The Panthers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, tying the game at five and sending it into extra innings. When all was said and done, the TEAM came out on top SCORE in ## innings

Before the free baseball could begin the umpires were forced to suspend the game until this morning, due to fog. This was one heck of a game prior to Mother Nature forcing the proceedings to come to a halt.

Ty Cohen got the start Friday for Florida Tech and pitched into the eighth inning, before giving way to Justin Barney for the last 1.1 innings.

Wingate cracked the scoreboard first in the top of the third when Justin Guy took Cohen deep to left, driving a 1-1 fastball over the fence. The Panthers got one run back in the bottom of the inning when Raul Quintero and Daniel Szpik hit back-to-back singles off of Bulldogs starter Hunter Morgan. Zac Orchard chased Quintero home with the third straight hit, making it 2-1.

After a wild pitch moved Szpik and Orchard up, Jacob Buser flew out and Ryan Sinzenich drew a walk, loading the bases. Freshman Jakob Newton had a chance to tie the game but struck out swinging on the fifth pitch of his at-bat.

It didn’t take long for that tie to come to fruition, as Pierson Reynolds led off the bottom of the fourth with his second home run of the season. Morgan bounced back to get the next three batters in order. The score stayed that way until Wingate regained the lead in the top of the eighth.

Brett Branton led off the frame with a double and scored on a Cohen wild pitch, making it 3-2. Ty Andrus reached on a fielder’s choice, and took matters into his own hands, stealing second and third. He scored on Tyler Schneider’s RBI single, doubling the Bulldogs lead to 4-2. Micah Goodwin added a two-out RBI double to center to make it a three-run game.

That would be it for Cohen, who went 7.2 innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter in his 92 pitch outing. Barney came in and struck out Bradley Brown to end the inning.

The Panthers put something together in the bottom of the eighth when Buser singled and Sinzenich walked against reliever Lane Wildman, putting runners at first and second. Kevin Capella was then called on to pinch hit but he struck out as did Reynolds. Pinch-hitter Tyler Brown made it three strikeouts in a row for the Panthers, as he went down swinging.

James Gronberg led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk and after Quintero struck out, he stole second. Szpik moved Gronberg to third on a groundout and the Panthers were down to their final out. Orchard doubled to center, bringing Gronberg home and cutting the Deficit to 5-3.

Buser was the Panthers last hope and he was down to his final strike when he homered to left field, tying the game at five. Sinzenich would run his count full before going down swinging.

When the game resumed Saturday at 11:00 a.m., both teams went in order in the 10th inning. In the 11th, Andrew Beyer took over on the mound and Schneider hit a ball that was misplayed in left field. The error allowed him to get to second base and two outs later, Zach Litt;e singled him home with the go-ahead run.

For more info: Wingate @ Florida Tech Box Score

The Panthers went down in order in their half of the 11th and have now lost three straight games by one run. The tournament continues Saturday, as the Panthers will face Valdosta State.