The Florida Tech Panthers were hurt by three errors Friday night and watched a couple of leads disappear before dropping the series opener to Embry-Riddle 13-5 in Daytona Beach. The loss os the Panthers third in a row.
Rodnie Bernard finished the night 3-for-4, while Jacob Buser went 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs. Embry-Riddle had 18 hits, led by Kyle Marsh, who went 4-for-4 with a walk. Luis Olivier went 3-for-5, as did Zach Howard, who hit the three-run home run that gave the Eagles the lead for good.
Florida Tech (14-10, 5-5 SSC) got on the board first, starting with a double by Bernard on the first pitch he saw from Daniel Agramont. A sac fly by Buser got him to third and he came home on a Dylan Owens single back up the middle.
Andy Marzheuser got the start for Florida Tech and he struggled a bit, giving up a season-high 10 hits. He gave up three hits in the first inning but kept ERAU off the board. He was not as lucky in the second inning, as an error led to two unearned runs, giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
ERAU (15-10, 4-3 SSC) got two more runs in the fourth inning, with another error not helping the Panthers cause. A wild pitch with the bases loaded made it 3-1, and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Guttveg stretched the Eagles lead to three.
The Panthers got back into it in the top of the fifth with singles by Raul Quintero, Pedro Rivera, and James Gronberg. That brought Buser to the plate and he drilled a double down the right-field line, clearing the bases, and tying the game at four.
Marzheuser worked into the sixth, before giving up a single and hit a batter before leaving the game in favor of Jake Lane. Marzheuser went 5.1 innings, allowing 10 hits and four runs, none of them earned. He walked one and struck out five, throwing 93 pitches, 63 for strikes.
Florida Tech jumped back on top in the fifth. After Bernard walked, J.C. Carrell came in to pitch and gave up a double to Buser, giving the Panthers a 5-4 lead.
The lead didn’t last long, as Embry-Riddle got a three-run bomb off the bat of Howard, and just like that, the Eagles were up 7-5.
Lane (1-3) finished the inning, going 1.2 innings, giving up five hits, and three earned runs. He struck out three, throwing 27 pitches (19 strikes).
Andrew Giddens started the eighth, walking two batters, before Tristen Adams, who allowed a bunt single, loading the bases. Olivier’s two-run single made it 9-5, and the Panthers would record an out at home, only for catcher Blaise Maris to throw the ball away, leading to two more runs, and an 11-5 lead for the Eagles. A wild pitch and a sac fly by Guttveg made it 13-5, capping off a six-run inning.
The Panthers stranded two runners in the top of the ninth, as reliever Joey Gerber struck out three batters to end the game.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Embry-Riddle Box Score
This Sunshine State Conference series continues Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. game in Daytona.