Blaise Maris hit two home runs and Vinny Catanza added another, as the Florida Tech Panthers pummeled Florida Southern 12-2 on Sunday, in the finale of a three-game series at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.
With the win, the Panthers took the series two games to one. It was the first series win for the Panthers against FSC since 2015.
Florida Tech (21-15, 10-8 SSC) had 16 hits on the day, led by Rodnie Bernard who had three hits in four trips to the plate. Jacob Buser went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, Maris went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, while James Gronberg, Brett Parrish, and Raul Quintero each contributed two hits.
Panthers starter Rhett Willis had the Mocs’ number in this one, holding them to two hits over five innings. Florida Southern ended the day with just four hits.
Florida Tech’s offense got going early, against Florida Southern starter Trevor Castell. Bernard and Gronberg hit back-to-back singles to start the game. They eventually came around on a double by Buser, giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Maris would get his first home run of the day, one out later, doubling the Panthers lead. The Panthers sent nine men to the plate in the inning, getting six hits, and four runs.
Thomas Spinelli took over for Castell to start the second, and he ran into trouble with one out. After giving up a single to Gronberg, he attempted to pick him off and threw it away. Buser made him pay with a double, making it 5-0. A groundout moved Buser to third, and with Maris at the plate, a wild pitch third strike allowed Buser to score the sixth run.
FIT continued to pour it on in the fourth. After Buser hit into a double-play, getting Bernard to third, Dylan Owens knocked him in with an RBI single, giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead. Maris would then hit an absolute bomb over the left field wall. His second homer of the day made it 9-0.
In the top of the fifth, Jakob Newton took over for Gronberg, who fouled a ball off his shin earlier in the game. Gronberg finished the day 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
Willis (3-1) got through the fifth inning before giving way to Matt DiNenna in the sixth. Willis did not allow a run on two hits while striking out seven and walking one. He threw 78 pitches, 49 for strikes.
Florida Southern (20-17, 6-12 SSC) got on the board against DiNenna in the sixth, thanks to an Alex Goebel two-run single, cutting the Florida Southern deficit to 9-2.
The Panthers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth, with two outs. After Florida Southern reliever Carson King finally got Maris to strike out on the ninth pitch of an at-bat for the second out of the inning, Parrish walked and later came around to score on a Quintero RBI double, making it 10-2.
Quintero got to jog home after Catanza jacked one out of the yard, upping the Panthers lead to 10. All three of the Panthers home runs on Sunday were two-run shots.
Florida Southern would have just three runners on base the rest of the way, as DiNenna pitched the final four innings. He allowed two earned runs on two hits, walking five and striking out two. DiNenna threw 72 pitches in four innings of work, earning his first save of the season.
For more info: Florida Southern @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers will travel to Saint Leo on Thursday, April 18, for the first of a three-game series. Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.