Panthers Lose Fifth Straight as ERAU Sweeps Series

It was another tough day on the diamond for the Florida Tech Panthers on Sunday, as they dropped an 11-3 decision to the Embry-Riddle Eagles in Daytona. The Loss extends the Panthers losing streak to five games.

The Panthers (14-12, 5-7 SSC) who lost 11-0 on Saturday and managed just two hits, looked like they were going to suffer the same fate in this one, but the Panthers scored three runs in the ninth inning, with two hits, ending the day with four knocks.

Florida Tech starter Rhett Willis (2-1) gave up four runs in the first inning, giving up back-to-back two-run singles to Zach Howard and Cole Habig. He pitched well for a stretch after that, but the Panthers were unable to get their offense in gear for the second straight day.

Rodnie Bernard doubled in the third and Brett Parrish singled in the fourth, accounting for the only Florida Tech hits against Embry-Riddle starter Payton Rice, until the ninth inning.

Things went south for Willis in the bottom of the sixth, as Kirk Sidwell tripled and trotted home moments later on a two-run homer of the bat of Zach Howard. Willis followed that up with a wild pitch, and left with a 3-2 count on the next batter, after a visit from the trainer and head coach Greg Berkemeier. Reliever Jordan Murray gave up a single to Mike Lawson, bringing home the seventh Eagles run.

Willis threw 5.1 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out five, throwing 81 pitches (53 strikes).

After Murray threw 0.2 of an inning, Berkemeier called on Preston Schumacher to start the seventh. He got the first out and then gave up a double, followed by a two-run home run from Luis Olivier, upping the Eagles lead to 9-0. An error, a wild pitch, and a hit-by-pitch ended Schumacher’s day. Ryan Allain recorded the last two outs of the inning.

Olivier added an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, and Sidwell got an easy RBI, drawing a bases-loaded walk, giving Embry-Riddle their last two runs.

Rice started the ninth, looking for the complete-game, but the Panthers had other ideas. A walk to James Gronberg and a single from Jacob Buser ended the afternoon for Rice. Dominic Jeancola, who came into the game having allowed one run in 22 innings of work, walked Dylan Owens to load the bases.

Parrish would earn a walk as well, getting the Panthers on the board. A sac fly by Blaise Maris made it 11-2 and a walk to Raul Quintero loaded the bases for the second time. Pedro Rivera‘s RBI single made it 11-3, but Bernard flew out to end the game.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Embry-Riddle Box Score

Florida Tech returns home Tuesday night to host Flagler in a regional contest. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.