Panthers Shut Out Purple Knights Twice

Jacob Buser – Sports Lowdown Photo Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown

The Florida Tech Panthers got great pitching on Friday, leading to a sweep of the Bridgeport Purple Knights in a Division II doubleheader at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field. The visitors managed only five hits in 16 innings of baseball, with Andy Marzheuser allowing four hits in 7.1 innings and Colin Cristello giving up one hit in a seven-inning complete game in game two.

Andy Marzheuser (3-1) continued his dominance on the mound in game one, striking out 10 batters in 7.1 innings of work. His offense got him all the runs he would need in the first two innings, tacking on in the seventh. They ended the day with 16 hits, led by 

Rodnie Bernard started the bottom of the first with a single and later scored on a double by Jacob Buser. Jakob Newton would bring him home with a single and just that quick, the Panthers were up 2-0.

The Panthers got another run in the second, which started with back-to-back singles by Brett Parrish and Raul Quintero. A balk by Bridgeport starter Andrew Oswald moved runners the runners up 90 feet and gave the Panthers their third run.

Marzheuser took over from there, allowing a single to Joey Grillo in the third. Grillo would single again the fifth, but Marzheuser would allow just two more hits and a walk in his time on the mound. When all was said and done, Marzheuser had struck out three in the third and three in the sixth, on his way to a 10 strikeout day. He threw 71 of his 95 pitches for strikes.

Florida Tech exploded for six runs in the seventh inning against Purple Knights relievers. Blaise Maris doubled to start the inning against Chris Martucci. After recording an out, Martucci gave way to Andrew Francella, who gave up a single to Quintero, putting runners at the corners. A perfect bunt to the right side by Pedro Rivera made it 4-0. After Bernard laid down another bunt for a hit to load the bases, James Gronberg singled home a run and the hot hitting Buser singled home two more, making it 7-0.

Dylan Owens RBI groundout made it 8-0, and Newton would benefit from a bad hop and get an RBI on a double, ending the scoring.

Justin Barney came in to pitch after Marzheuser got the first out in the eighth. He struck out two, before giving way to Tristen Adams, who got through the ninth and gave the Panthers win in game one.

For more info: Bridgeport @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)

Game two was a seven-inning affair, as it usually is when the team plays out of conference. The Panthers again got off to a quick start in this one, against Bridgeport starter Anthony Martino. This time, it was a seven-run first inning that did the Purple Knights in.

With one out, Gronberg walked, followed by a Buser single, putting runners on the corners for  Owens, who singled home the first run. After Newton walked to load the bases, Buser scored on a wild pitch.

After Maris was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, Parrish knocked home two with a single, giving the Panthers a  4-0 lead. Quintero would follow with an RBI single, ending the day for Martino. Anthony Jacabacci relieved Martino, and Quintero and Parrish pulled off a double steal of second and third, Rivera brought them both home with a base hit.

Florida Tech (11-7) finished game two with 12 hits, giving them 28 in the two games. Buser, Owens, and Parrish had two hits each in game two.

That was more than enough for Cristello, who allowed a fourth-inning single to Conall Roberts, for the only Bridgeport hit of the game. He also walked a batter in that inning, but he settled down, retiring the final 10 purple Knights he faced, including the last two on strikeouts.

Cristello (2-0) was dominant, walking only one batter and striking out eight, to go along with that one hit. He threw 50 of his 70 pitches for strikes.

For more info: Bridgeport @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)

This series wraps up on Saturday with a single game at 1:00 p.m. at Andy-Seminick-Les Hall Field.