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Rollins Comes From Behind to Beat Panthers

Rodnie Bernard – Sports Lowdown Photo

The Rollins College Tars overcame a three-run deficit Friday, to beat the Florida Tech Panthers 5-4 in game two of the final series of the season. Florida Tech managed just three hits, while Rollins had 11.

Rollins used a four-run seventh inning to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and will look to sweep the series on Saturday at Alfond Field. They won game one on Thursday, 8-3.

Drew Beyer who spent much of his time as the Panthers closer, notching a school record 20 career saves, has started in recent weeks and did so again on Friday. He pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three earned runs and seven hits. He struck out five and walked one, throwing 70 of his 95 pitches for strikes, but did not figure in the decision.

After stranding runners at second and third in the first inning, Florida Tech got on the board in the second against Rollins starter Garrett Leonard. Raul Quintero walked and stole second. An attempted pickoff went awry and Quintero was credited with a steal of third. He came home when Rodnie Bernard reached on an error, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Rollins (20-28, 8-21 SSC) would tie the game at one on a Grant Ashline RBI double in the bottom of the inning, but Beyer would get through the next few innings without allowing a run. For Leonard, it was a different story.

Jacob Buser would lead off the third with a line drive infield single and would get to second on a ball hit by Daniel Szpik. It looked like the Tars turned the double play, but Buser was ruled safe at second on a bang, bang play. Rollins did record the out at first, but Leonard then issued back-to-back walks to Vincenzo Catanza and Quintero, loading the bases.

A sacrifice fly by Kevin Capella made it 2-1 and Bernard followed with a two-run single, upping the Panthers lead to 4-1.

James Gronberg made a nice over-the-shoulder catch in center field for the Panthers in the bottom of the third, helping keep the home team from adding to their run total. Beyer then got Ashline to ground into a double play in the bottom of the fourth.

Meanwhile, Leonard was done after three innings, giving up the four earned runs and walking five. He was relieved by Brian Auerbach.

Florida Tech (19-30, 11-18 SSC) was held in check pretty well offensively, through the middle innings and the Tars offense would kick into high gear in the bottom of the seventh. Ashline led off with a home run to cut the Panthers lead to 4-2 and Beyer then hit Isaiah Russell with a pitch. He retired the next hitter, before coming out of the game in favor of Jordan Murray.

Mark Angelo, who came in as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, greeted Murray (3-4) with a triple, scoring Russell and closing the book on Beyer. Nick Santucci’s RBI single tied the game at four and one out later, Bryce Peterson gave Rollins the lead for good, driving in Santucci with a double.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Rollins Box Score 

This series and the Panthers season wraps up Saturday, with a 1:00 PM game.