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Panthers Fall to ERAU in High-Scoring Affair

Jacob Buser

The Embry-Riddle Eagles picked up their first-ever Sunshine State Conference win on Sunday and salvaged the series finale in the process, beating Florida Tech 13-10 at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.

Raul Quintero had himself a career-day for the Panthers, going 4-for-4 with his first ever home run as a Panther, to go along with two stolen bases. He was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth, denying him his chance at a five-hit day.

This was a slugfest from the get-go that featured 23 runs, 27 hits and a combined eight pitchers. Jacob Buser had a three-run home run and drove in five and Daniel Szpik had a two-hit day for Florida Tech. The Eagles had three guys that had three hits apiece. The eighth was the only inning that neither team scored a run.

Embry-Riddle (10-16, 1-8 SSC) got things going immediately against Panthers starter Jake Lane (1-3). Jake Malone and Kyle Guttveg singled and Kyle Marsh hit the first of three three-run home runs for the Eagles, putting the visitors up 3-0.

Luis Olivier doubled before Lane finally recorded an out. After Alex Dodd’s RBI double made it 4-0, Lane was lifted, in favor of Tim Whalen. He threw a wild pitch and hit a batter, but to his credit, he got Cole Habig to hit it back to the mound and started a 1-2-3 double play to end the frame. Lane pitched 1/3rd of an inning, giving up four runs on five hits. He threw 23 pitches.

Florida Tech (12-16, 4-8 SSC) got two runs back in the bottom of the second with an RBI single from

Florida Tech (12-16, 4-8 SSC) got two runs back in the bottom of the second with an RBI single from Florida Tech (12-16, 4-8 SSC) got two runs back in the bottom of the second with an RBI single from Ryan Sinzenich and a run-scoring groundout by Buser, making it 4-2.

Whalen walked two of the first three batters he faced in the second inning and that proved costly, as Luis Olivier hit a three-run shot over the left field wall, giving ERAU a 7-2 lead. After an error allowed Zach Howard to reach, Panthers coach Greg Berkemeier mad another pitching change, bringing Matt DiNenna in. DiNenna struck out one and walked one before getting out of the inning.

Whalen was charged with three earned runs in his one inning. He walked two and gave up one hit, throwing 27 pitches.

The Panthers got those three runs back in the bottom of the frame on an RBI groundout by Kevin Capella and RBI singles from Szpik and Buser. Just like that, it was 7-5.

Quintero made it 7-6 with a solo shot in the third, but an error and a wild pitch led to a run for the Eagles in the top of the fourth, extending their lead to 8-6. They would add to that lead in the fifth.

DiNenna walked Justin Franklin and gave up a double to Cody Bogart to start the inning, Matt Coles was called on to make his Florida Tech debut, facing a second and third, nobody out situation. The second pitch he threw to Habig went a long way and gave the Eagles a commanding 11-6 lead.

Coles would settle down, striking out the next three batters to end the inning. He would then fan two of the three he faced in the sixth.

Buser would get the Panthers to within two in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run bomb, scoring Capella and Szpik ahead of him. They each singled earlier in the inning and all of a sudden, it was an 11-9 game.

ERAU would add a run in the seventh on an RBI single from Malone making it 12-9. Florida Tech would answer in the bottom of the frame with Quintero doubling off the wall and coming home on a grounder by Tyler Brown. The Panthers would strand two in the eighth and one more in the ninth. The Eagles got the final run of the game in the ninth and the avoided the series sweep.

For more info: Embry-Riddle @ Florida Tech Box Score

The Panthers head to Flagler on Tuesday for the third meeting of the season with the Saints. Flagler won both previous meetings, on February 11 and 21st. Tuesday’s third meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. in St. Augustine.