The Rollins College Tars scored four times in the first three innings Thursday, leading to an 8-3 win over the visiting Florida Tech Panthers in game one of the final series of the season for both teams.
Sam Crocker (2-4) got the start for the Panthers and lasted just two-plus innings. Rollins got on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI single by Nick Breen.
Florida Tech (19-29, 11-17 SSC) looked primed to answer in the top of the second after Vincenzo Catanza doubled off Tars starter Brad Case and Raul Quintero reached on an error. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Catanaza later got caught in a rundown between third and home and Case was able to work out of trouble from there.
Rollins 19-28, 7-21 SSC) got a run in the bottom of the inning when Grant Ashline singled and went to third on a failed pickoff at first. He eventually scored on a sac fly by Cameron Meehan, giving the Tars a 2-0 lead.
The Panthers answered in the top of the third when Jacob Buser singled and later scored on a Daniel Szpik RBI single.
Crocker ran into more trouble in the bottom of the frame. He allowed a walk, hit a batter and allowed two stolen bases, setting up Nick Santucci, who hit an RBI single to make it 3-1. That was all for Crocker, who allowed five hits. Jake Lane came in from the bullpen and induced a double play ball, which resulted in Rollins fourth run of the game. Crocker was charged with four earned runs, allowed four walks, and struck out one. He threw 57 pitches, 29 for strikes.
Buser led off the top of the sixth with a double and after Szpik moved him to third, Catanza’s sac fly made it 4-2. Lane would give up a double, a walk and a sac bunt before he was taken out of the game after an extended mound visit that included the trainer.
Ryan Allain came on in relief and after walking Brendan Brundage to load the bases, Meehan hit one to third that was played by Quintero, who had to come up firing and his throw was off, allowing all three runs to score. Meehan was credited with a single, but the runs scored on the error and Rollins led 7-2. Breen’s RBI double made it 8-2.
Case (5-6) was done after throwing six solid innings for the home team. He allowed two runs on six hits, walking one and striking out three, throwing 60 of his 94 pitches for strikes.
The Panthers final run came in the top of the eighth, against Tars’ reliever Whit Drennan. Buser was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and later scored on an RBI single by Quintero. Florida Tech would load the bases with two outs, but Drennan got out of the inning without further damage.
Quintero and Buser were both 2-for-3 on the day, with Quintero driving in a run, while Szpik and Catanza were each 1-for-3 with an RBI.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Rollins Box Score
The series continues on Friday at Alfond Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.