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Badgers Offense Comes Alive in Series Finale

Ryan Sinzenich – Sports Lowdown Photo

After scoring four runs in two games on Saturday, the Spring Hill Badgers pounded out 15 hits and scored  13 runs, beating Florida Tech 13-5 in Sunday’s series finale at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.

A seventh-inning grand slam by Brennan Fontenot put things permanently out of reach and ended the Panthers four-game winning streak. Fontenot would finish the day 1-for-5 with six RBIs.

Spring Hill (4-12) got to Panthers starter Drew Beyer early. Grayson Williams tripled with one out in the first and later scored on a groundout by Fontenot.

It looked like Florida Tech (9-13) was going to cruise in this one, picking up right where they left off Saturday, with a four-run first inning against Spring Hill starter Austin Barrios.

Daniel Szpik hit a one-out double and Ryan Sinzenich sent him on a slow walk home, with a two-run bomb, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead. A Jacob Buser double and an infield single by Raul Quintero, along with his subsequent steal of second would set up Kevin Capella‘s two-run single and up the Panthers lead to 4-1.

Szpik would go 2-for-5 with an RBI in this game and Quintero would have himself a 3-for-4 day. Capella would wind up going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

The Badgers would strike for four of their own in the third inning. Beyer gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning and Fontenot would bring one in on a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 4-2. Later in the inning, Justin Collier would single home a run and Keaton Smith made it 5-4 Spring Hill, with his two-run single.

The Panthers threatened in the bottom of the fourth, Jakob Newton doubled and looked to be headed home as James Gronberg rifled one to right. Williams was on his horse and made a great diving catch, robbing Gronberg.

Beyer would be done after four, giving up five runs on eight hits and striking out six. He would throw 65 pitches, 47 strikes. Jake Lane would start the fifth for Florida Tech and the Badgers would add to their lead.

Smith gave the ball a ride to center and Gronberg reached up to try to make the play and had it in his glove briefly before contact the wall caused it to pop out. That put runners at second and third. Later in the inning, Neil Ring singled home both runners, giving the visitors a 7-4 lead.

Florida Tech would threaten in the sixth with Quintero and Capella hitting consecutive one-out singles, putting runners at the corners. Unfortunately, Newton hit a grounder and Quintero got caught in a rundown between third and home. He was eventually tagged out, short-circuiting the potential rally.

Lane would give up two singles to start the Spring Hill seventh and was relieved by Jordan Murray. Ring laid down a bunt that Quintero barehanded but couldn’t get a grip on the ball, loading the bases. Murray would battle John Sklopan in a 12-pitch at bat, before ultimately walking him and doubling the Badgers lead to 8-4.

Reliever Justin Barney was brought in to try to shut things down without any further damage and he did get the next two outs, but Fontenot stepped up and rocketed a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right-center for a grand slam. With that, the Badgers led 12-4.

Spring Hill would add a run in the ninth against reliever Ryan Allain on an RBI single by Williams and the Panthers would get that back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI double off the bat of Szpik.

For more info: Spring Hill @ Florida Tech Box Score

FIT will have to put this one behind them as they jump back into Sunshine State Conference play on Friday, hosting Nova Southeastern. Friday’s game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and the series wraps up Saturday with a noon doubleheader.