Panthers Pound Fighting Knights

James Gronberg – Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers won just their second road game of the season on Friday, beating Sunshine State Conference foe Lynn 17-6 in the lid-lifter of a three-game weekend series in Boca Raton.

The Panthers scored 13 runs in two big innings, overcoming an early 4-0 deficit and improving to 5-8 in conference play in the process. The win also snapped a five-game losing streak for FIT, while extending Lynn’s losing streak to five.

Lynn (19-16, 8-11 SSC) got four runs in the first inning against Panthers starter Ty Cohen. Gabe Martinez reached on an error and eventually scored on a wild pitch for the first run and Alejandro Martinez hit a three-run homer later in the inning. All four runs in the inning were unearned.

The Fighting Knights looked poised to score again in the second inning, but Gabe Martinez hit a line drive that clipped the foot of Alec Ojeda between second and third and instead of a single and an RBI, the inning was over.

Lynn starter Anthony Franco retired the first seven batters he faced before walking Jakob Newton. James Gronberg would eventually single Newton in with the first run, making it 4-1.

Florida Tech (13-20, 5-8 SSC) broke this thing open in the top of the fourth. They sent 14 men to the plate in the inning, getting a lot of timely hits. Daniel Szpik had an RBI double that came with two strikes, Raul Quintero had a two-strike RBI single. Rodnie Bernard‘s sac fly tied the game at four and Gronberg’s second run-scoring single of the day, gave the Panthers the lead. After Zac Orchard plated another run with a single, the nightmare was over for Franco, who gave way to Billy Facteau.

Jacob Buser greeted him with a two-run double and extending the Panthers lead to 8-4. The eighth and final run of the inning crossed the plate when Kevin Capella drew a bases-loaded walk.

Lynn did get single runs in the fifth and sixth, making it a 9-6 game. Cohen, who had that rough first inning bounced back in a big way, getting through six innings. He allowed six runs (one earned) on nine hits, walked two and struck out three. He threw 66 of his 94 pitches for strikes.

Matt Coles threw the final three innings for the Panthers, giving up three hits and striking out four. He threw 48 pitches. The struggles continued on the other side for Lynn hurlers, as they gave up another five runs in the seventh inning.

Victor Danza came in with two runners on in the inning. Bernard and Gronberg hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 11-6. It was the third RBI single for Gronberg, who finished the day 3-for-6. With runners at first and third, Lynn called on their fourth pitcher of the day, Alec Hernandez.

Buser greeted him by launching a three-run bomb over the right-center field wall. That made it 14-6 and gave Buser a five-RBI day with three runs scored.

The last three Panther runs came in the eighth. Quintero had an RBI double, Bernard drove in Quintero with a single and Quintero scored on a wild pitch.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Lynn Box Score

With weather issues on the horizon, the Panthers schedule has changed for the weekend. Saturday’s single game has now been changed to a doubleheader, beginning at noon. There will be no game played on Sunday, as originally scheduled.