Florida Tech baseball had a rough day on the diamond Saturday, dropping a doubleheader to Nova Southeastern, as the weekend series wrapped up. The Sharks won game one 14-6 and took game two, 11-4.
Nova pounded out 13 hits in game one and had 20 in game two. The Panthers struck out 21 times in the two games. They did have 11 hits in game one but were held to eight in game two.
Jake Anchia had a big day at the plate in both games and got the Sharks on the board in the top of the first, with a two-run double against Panthers starter Sam Crocker. Nova would take advantage of three walks in the third inning, as Andrew Liberty smacked a three-run homer and gave the visitors a 5-0 lead.
The Panthers got homer happy in the bottom of the inning as Daniel Szpik led off with a solo shot and after Ryan Sinzenich walked, Jacob Buser used the long ball to make it a 5-3 game. Florida Tech wasn’t done, as Jakob Newton sent a three-run blast over the wall putting the Panthers on top, 6-5.
Crocker walked two in the fifth inning and he left shortly thereafter with the bases loaded. Colin Cristello came out of the bullpen but immediately threw a wild pitch, tying the game at six.
Anchia would get the lead back for the Sharks in the top of the sixth with an RBI single. A two-run single by Christian Demby made it 9-6 and that was the end of the day for Cristello. Ryan Allain would walk the first batter he faced and then give up a two-run single to Nathan Chevalier, giving the Sharks an 11-6 lead.
A two-run home run by Dylan Harris in the top of the ninth made it 13-6 and Nova would score their final run on a wild pitch.
James Gronberg (2-for-5), Buser 2-for-4, Newton 2-for-3) and Rodnie Bernard (2-for-4) were the big hitters for the Panthers in game one.
Crocker allowed six runs on five hits in 4.2 innings of work. He walked six and struck out three. He threw 89 pitches, 47 for strikes. All that got him a no-decision, as Cristello would take the loss, working one inning, giving up five earned runs on three hits. Allain gave up three runs on five hits in his 3.1 innings.
For more info: Nova Southeastern @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)
Things did not go much better in game two for the Panthers, who committed four errors on defense and saw the Sharks get 20 hits.
Anchia, who had three hits in game one, put up three more in game two, including a two-run blast off of Panthers starter Jake Lane, to get the scoring started in the top of the first. The Sharks would give those runs back in the bottom of the frame, one on an error and another on a Buser groundout.
The 2-2 tie didn’t last long, as Nova put up four. Cyr and Harris had RBI singles, another run came home on a double play and Liberty doubled home a run as part of his 3-for-4 day. All that gave the Sharks a 6-2 lead.
Florida Tech (10-15, 2-7 SSC) got single runs in the second and third on a Newton sac fly and a home run by Gronberg in the third, that cut the Panthers deficit to 6-4, but that was as close as they would get.
Nova (13-8, 6-3 SSC) would add four in the fourth inning, highlighted by a Harris two-run home run, making it 10-4. Anchia would complete his stellar day with an RBI single in the sixth.
For more info: Nova Southeastern @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)
Gronberg had three of the Panthers seven hits. He needed a triple for the cycle. Kevin Capella had two knocks for the Panthers and Buser finished the day 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at eight games.
Lane allowed six runs on eight hits in just 1.2 innings. He was done after just 32 pitches. Rhett Willis pitched 5.1 innings in relief giving up five runs (three earned) on nine hits. Jordan Murray did a good job in his two innings of work, allowing three hits and striking out four.
Florida Tech will host another Sunshine State Conference series next weekend, against Embry-Riddle. Friday’s game will start at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday’s game is set for 3:00 p.m. The series wraps up on Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. game.