Daniel Szpik went 3-for-5 with a three-run home run, helping the Panthers rally for 10 runs in the last three innings to beat Barry 10-7 in game one of a doubleheader Sunday at Feinbloom Field in Miami Shores. Barry led game two 16-5 when it was suspended due to the 11:00 p.m. curfew. The game was completed Monday morning as they played the top of the ninth and Barry pitcher Erislandy Rives sent the Panthers down in order.
Game one started an hour and 15 minutes late due to rain and the Panthers offense took a lot longer than that to get going. They would have to overcome a six-run deficit in game one, as Jake Lane picked up an improbable win in relief and Drew Beyer struck out two batters in the ninth, to earn his sixth save of the season.
Barry used the long ball to jump out to an early lead against Panthers starter Ty Cohen. Justin Lamazares hit a solo shot to left in the bottom of the third to start the scoring and after an RBI double by Ryan Baldwin made it 2-0, Garrett Thompson’s two-run shot doubled the Bucs’ lead to 4-0.
A two-out single by Arrison Perez kept the bottom of the sixth going for Barry. He would eventually get to second on an error, ahead of Andrew Rapoza’s monster home run that gave the Buccaneers a seemingly comfortable 6-0 lead.
A single by Szpik in the second and a single by Rodnie Bernard in the sixth were the only Panther hits against Barry starter Pablo Arevalo, until the comeback started in the seventh.
Jacob Buser led off the frame, earning a four-pitch walk. A double by Szpik put runners at second and third for Kevin Capella, who drove in two with a double. Barry reliever Hugo Casilla looked to be out of the inning when Jakob Newton hit a bouncer to short that looked to be an easy out, only it took a huge hop over Sebastian Dayoub, allowing Capella to score with the Panthers third run and cut Barry’s lead in half, 6-3.
Another Florida Tech error in the bottom of the seventh inning led to a sacrifice fly by Richie Solbavarro, giving the Bucs a 7-3 lead. A walk followed and that was the end of the day for Cohen, who gave the Panthers 6.2 innings, scattering nine hits and allowing seven runs (six earned). He walked two and struck out eight, including striking out the side in two innings. He threw 119 pitches, 78 for strikes. A caught stealing ended the inning for the home team.
Szpik made noise again in the eighth. After Ryan Sinzenich walked and Buser was hit by a pitch, Szpik sent a rocket over the right-field wall and into the parking lot, and just like that, the Panthers were within one, 7-6.
Lane (2-4), who came in to finish the seventh for Cohen, made quick work of the Buccaneers in the eighth, with a five-pitch inning.
Daniel Broeseker, who got the final two outs in the eighth inning for Barry got into trouble immediately in the top of the ninth, giving up a solo home run to Raul Quintero, tying the game at seven. Broeseker‘s troubles were far from over.
After walking Newton, Broeseker allowed a single to Bernard putting runners at the corners. Back-to-back walks to Gronberg and Sinzenich gave the Panthers their first lead of the day, at 8-7. An error on a ball hit by Buser to first, allowed the final two runs of the inning to cross the plate.
Beyer came on to pitch the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced, saving the win for Lane, who worked 1.1 innings.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Barry Box Score (Game 1)
Lane earned the win in game one and got the start in game two, but he wouldn’t be around long as the Bucs scored early and often in game two.
Florida Tech (18-28, 10-16 SSC) got off to a good start, getting on the board in the top of the first. James Gronberg walked and stole second, followed by Quintero drawing a walk. With Buser at the plate, the Panthers pulled off a double steal and an errant throw by the catcher allowed Gronberg to score.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the third when Barry struck for five runs. Lane left with the bases loaded, giving way to Matt DiNenna. Paul Salatta got a pinch-hit single to tie the game at one, and one out later, Ryan Baldwin cleared the bases with a grand slam and the Bucs were up 5-1.
Barry (21-25, 8-18 SSC) would add three more in the bottom of the fourth helped by an error and a two-run single by Rapoza, making it 8-1. Rapoza would strike again in the bottom of the fifth. After an RBI single by Alexis Monge-Rodriguez made it 9-1, Rapoza stroked a two-run single to up the lead to 11-1.
The Panthers got an RBI single from Capella in the sixth and a two-run home run off the bat of James Gronberg in the seventh, making it 11-4. This, shortly after Gronberg made a great diving catch in the bottom of the sixth.
The Bucs would answer with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame, extending their lead to 14-4.
Angel Almonte was called on to pitch the eighth for Barry and he promptly walked Szpik and Sinzenich. After retiring Capella, he hit Newton, loading the bases. Unfortunately, the Panthers managed only one run on a sac fly by Pierson Reynolds.
Perez capped the scoring for Barry in the bottom of the inning with a two-run blast to left field, giving Barry a 16-5 lead. That took the game just past 11:00 p.m. which is when curfew kicked in.
Barry finished game two with 17 hits, while Florida Tech managed four. The defense let the Panthers down as well, committing five errors. This after they overcame three miscues in game one.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Barry Box Score (Game 2)
The series wraps up Monday morning at 11:00 a.m.