The Flagler Saints pounded out 13 hits and took advantage of six Florida Tech errors, en route to a 12-5 non-conference win on Tuesday night over the visiting Panthers. This was the third win over FIT this season for the Saints.
Jason Moore led Flagler’s 13-hit attack, going 4-for-4 with six RBIs and scoring two runs. Jacob Buser and Zac Orchard each went 3-for-4 for the Panthers and Ryan Sinzenich went 2-for-4, scoring three runs. Florida Tech finished with 11 hits.
It was not a good night on the mound, as Florida Tech used seven pitchers. Starter Sam Crocker lasted 2/3rds of an inning. Ryan Allain lasted an inning and Colin Cristello went 3.1, with the three of them combining to give up 10 runs.
Florida Tech (12-17) got on the board first against Saints starter Jett Walsh, loading the bases with two outs in the top of the first. Sinzenich walked, Buser singled and Orchard walked. Kevin Capella then beat out an infield single, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Crocker struggled in the bottom of the inning. A hit-by-pitch, a single and a walk loaded the bases and Moore was then hit by a pitch, tying the game, 1-1. A two-run single by Ja’Kobi Dasher and a run-scoring single from Steven DiPuglia made it 4-1 and ended Crocker’s night after four earned runs and 31 pitches.
Allain started the second inning with a walk to Dillon Reed and he focused too much on him, eventually uncorking a wild pickoff throw that allowed reed to get to third. He scored on Moore’s RBI single and Sean Lawlor’s 2-run single made it 7-1. Allain was lifted three batters later and Cristello got the final out of the inning.
The Panthers got one back in the top of the third on an Orchard RBI groundout and actually loaded the bases in the inning, but Newton hit into an inning-ending double-play and trailed 7-2.
Third baseman Raul Quintero got all three assists in the bottom of the fourth, including a sparkling defensive play that saw him throw DiPuglia out from his knees.
Two singles and an error loaded the bases for Flagler in the bottom of the fifth and Moore’s two-run double made it 9-1. The throw from the outfield was air-mailed into the Flagler dugout and that made it 10-2.
Walsh was done after five innings, two earned runs and 105 pitches. The Panthers got to reliever Nick Martinez in the seventh. Sinzenich and Buser singled and Orchard singled, making it 10-3. Capella’s RBI groundout made it 10-4 and Quintero ripped an RBI single, cutting the Flagler lead in half.
Flagler (24-8) answered back in the bottom of the seventh. Justin Barney was called out of the Panthers bullpen in the bottom of the inning after Jake Buck left with runners on second and third. He immediately gave up a two-run double to Moore, making it 12-5. An error and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out, but reliever Matt DiNenna worked out of what could have been a disastrous frame.
Florida Tech did not go down without a fight. Buser walked, Orchard singled and Capella walked to start the ninth, but Ethan Jones came on to get the final three outs for Flagler, leaving the bags packed with Panthers. FIT left 13 on base, while the Saints left 12.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Flagler Box Score
The Panthers return home Friday to take on Georgia College in a non-conference doubleheader. The first game starts at 3:00 p.m. The three-game series wraps up Saturday, with a noon game.