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Szpik Homer Seals Panthers Comeback

Daniel Szpik – Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers trailed in the middle innings Saturday against Embry-Riddle, but a home run by Daniel Szpik in the bottom of the sixth held up in a 5-4 Panthers win. This follows Friday’s 4-3 walk-off win by Florida Tech.

The Eagles jumped on FIT starter Sam Crocker for three runs in the bottom of the first.

Kyle Guttveg was hit by a pitch and later stole second. He eventually scored onKyle Marsh single. Luis Olivier‘s single put runners on the corners and a sac fly Zach Howard made it 2-0. Alex Dodd‘s RBI single followed Olivier’s steal of second and gave ERAU a 3-0 lead. Dodd would collect four hits in the losing cause.

Jordan Murray took over for Crocker on the mound after 2/3rds of an inning and was able to get the final out of the inning. Crocker allowed three runs on three hits, throwing only 21 pitches. Murray picked up the slack in a big way, allowing seven hits and one run over 6.1 innings. He struck out two, walked one and threw 75 pitches.

Florida Tech (12-15, 4-7 SSC) got a run back in the bottom of the first when Jacob Buser smoked a double to right center off of a Matthew Russell fastball. The hit scored Ryan Sinzenich who singled earlier in the inning.

The Panthers would tie the game on the bottom of the second on an RBI triple by James Gronberg that plated Rodnie Bernard and a Sinzenich single that brought Gronberg home, tying the game, 3-3.

Embry-Riddle regained the lead in the top of the fourth when Cody Bogart knocked in Howard. A single by Cole Habig brought Dodd plateward, but he was thrown out on a great throw by Szpik in right that Zac Orchard gathered in at the plate and tagged Dodd out. A double play would then end the inning with ERAU leading 4-3.

Bernard started the Panthers sixth with a single against Eagles reliever Garrett Goodall. One out later, Szpik muscled up and drove a two-run shot over the wall in left, giving the home team a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish.

Andrew Beyer, who got the save on Friday, pitched the final two innings Saturday, getting his fifth save of the season. He allowed just two hits, struck out three and walked one, throwing 26 pitches.

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

The series wraps up Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. game at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.