The Florida Tech baseball team came back down to earth Saturday, dropping a doubleheader to Nova Southeastern 6-1, and 13-5. The losses come on the heels of a nine-game winning streak for the Panthers.
Things started well for the Panthers in game one, as James Gronberg hit a solo home run off of Sharks starter Nathan Campbell with one out in the first inning.
That lead held until the third inning when Nova got after Panthers starter Colin Cristello, who gave up a double, a walk and hit a batter to start the frame. Garrett Wolforth’s sacrifice fly tied the game and Ian Acevedo followed with an RBI double. Christian Demby’s infield single made it 3-1.
Back-to-back singles by Mike Rojas and Brandon Chinea started the fourth, and after the Panthers got two outs, it was Wolforth coming through again with an RBI single. Acevedo’s two-run single made it 6-1, and that was more than enough for NSU to snap the Panthers nine-game winning streak.
Cristello (2-1) went six innings, giving up six runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out three, throwing 103 pitches (67 strikes). Tristen Adams threw the final two innings for Florida Tech, giving up two hits and striking out one.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Nova Southeastern Box Score (Game 1)
NSU (17-7, 8-4 SSC) put the second game away early, scoring in each of the first six innings. Preston Schumacher (1-2) got the start for Florida Tech and he went one-plus inning, allowing three runs (two earned), on three hits.
After Schumacher walked Irisarri to start the game, Pastore would double him home, making it 1-0. Schumacher would work around two errors and get out of the inning without further damage. The reprieve didn’t last long, as Nathan Chevalier singled and stole second to start the second. Brandon Chinea would single him home, making it 2-0.
Schumacher’s day was done, without recording an out in the inning. Justin Barney took over and after an error, Irisarri brought home a run with a groundout, and another RBI from Wolforth made it 4-1. The Sharks would add another in the third inning, thanks to an error.
Jacob Buser got the Panthers on the board with his fourth home run of the season in the top of the fourth, making it a 5-1 game. NSU answered with back-to-back RBI singles from Acevedo and Demby, made it 7-1.
The Panthers (14-9, 5-4 SSC) made a game of it in the top of the fifth. Rodnie Bernard and Jakob Newton hit consecutive singles, and a double from Alec Eldridge scored one. After a pitching change that saw Gil Torres take the mound, Raul Quintero doubled, driving in two, and making it a 7-4 game.
Nova answered in the bottom of the frame, scoring four times, thanks in large part to an Acevedo single, and a two-run single by Demby, upping the lead to 11-4.
The final run for the Panthers came in the sixth when Brett Parrish doubled and scored on a single by Bernard. A two-run blast by Rojas in the bottom of the inning, made it 13-5.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Nova Southeastern Box Score (Game 2)
The Panthers road trip continues on Friday, March 22, as they face Embry-Riddle in Daytona. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.