Following their 3-2 win in Friday, the Florida Tech baseball team completed a sweep of the Lynn Fighting Knights winning both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader 5-3, and 12-6. The wins give the Panthers a 19-14 overall record, including 8-7 in the Sunshine State Conference.
Florida Tech starter Colin Cristello (3-3) found himself down early in game one, as Lynn came up with single runs in each of the first three innings. The Panthers were not fazed, as they got all the runs back in the bottom of the third.
The Panthers loaded the bases as Jakob Newton singled and was balked to second. After Rodnie Bernard was hit by a pitch, James Gronberg beat out an infield hit, loading the bases against Lynn starter Misael Castillo.
A sac fly by Jacob Buser made it 3-1, a single by Dylan Owens made it 3-2 and a sac fly off the bat of Blaise Maris made it 3-3.
FIT took their first lead of the day in the bottom of the fourth when Raul Quintero walked, stole second and went to third on the throw into center field by the catcher on the steal. Quintero would score on an RBI groundout by Pedro Rivera that went off the second baseman and the shortstop before pitcher Victor Danza was able to throw Rivera out. The Panthers failed to score again in the inning, but they were up 4-3.
Cristello got through six innings for the Panthers, giving up three runs on three hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three, throwing 86 pitches. Jake Lane took over on the mound, pitching the final three innings.
The Panthers got an insurance run in their half of the seventh. Danza walked Bernard to start the inning and was relieved by Connor Davis. He got Gronberg out but then gave up a double to Buser, allowing Bernard to score the Panthers fifth and final run.
Lane gave up a double in the eighth and ninth inning, but the Fighting Knights couldn’t push either runner across and the Panthers hung on for the win in game one.
Gronberg and Buser each had two hits in game one, with Buser driving in two runs. Owens, Maris, and Rivera had the other RBIs.
For more info: Lynn @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)
Rhett Willis got the start for the Panthers in game two, and he stranded two runners in the top of the first before the Panthers offense got him a run in the bottom of the first. Bernard doubled and moved to third on a sac fly by Gronberg. Buser’s RBI groundout made it 1-0.
James Buckley’s RBI single tied the game at two in the top of the third. A wild pitch would score another run, giving Lynn a 2-1 lead. Florida Tech answered quickly in the bottom of the frame, as Newton walked and came home on a triple by Bernard, tying it at two. A bunt single by Gronberg scored Bernard, giving the Panthers a 3-2 lead and they would tack on another run thanks to a balk, and a passed ball, allowing Gronberg to score and putting the Panthers up 4-2.
The Panthers would tally another run in the fourth on an RBI single by Quintero. Lynn would come back in the top of the fifth, thanks to a two-run homer off the bat of Byron Murray, closing the gap to 5-4. The home run came against Justin Lorenz, who took over for Willis to start the fifth.
Lynn (16-20, 6-15 SSC) tied the game in the seventh on a wild pitch and took the lead later in the frame when Murray singled to give the visitors a 6-5 lead. That was the fifth RBI of the day for Murray in the two games combined.
That lead wouldn’t last long as the Panthers had a huge inning in the bottom of the eighth. Buser started things with a double. He came home on an RBI single by Owens, tying the game 6-6. One batter after a wild pitch put runners at second and third, Rivera came through with a two-run single, giving the Panthers an 8-6 lead.
Later in the inning, Gronberg stroked a two-run double to left-center, making it 10-6, and Buser knocked in two more with a single, capping a seven-run inning and giving the Panthers a 12-6 lead.
Matt DiNenna pitched the ninth, his second inning of work and took home the win, his first of the season.
Bernard, Gronberg, and Buser all had two hits in the second game, with Gronberg and Buser knocking in three apiece.
For more info: Lynn @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)
With their first conference sweep under their belt, the Panthers will host Florida Southern next weekend in a three-game series. The first game will be Friday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m.