Panthers Split Doubleheader with Lindenwood

With the rain postponing things on Saturday, the Lions and Panthers convened at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field for a Super Bowl Sunday doubleheader, consisting of two seven-inning games.

After losing the opening game of the series on Friday, the Panthers came from behind dramatically to take game one on Sunday, picking up a 5-4 victory.

As they did on Friday, the Lions got on the board early. Bryce Beckmann singled and stole second against Panthers starter Joey Hecht. A double by Will Lanxon put runners at second and third. Beckmann would score on a passed ball, and a throwing error by Hecht allowed Lanxon to score, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.

The Panthers cut into the lead in the bottom of the second, against Lions starter Justin Thompson. With one out Vinny Catanza walked and stole second. Jakob Newton would chase him home with a double, making it 2-1.

In the top of the third, the Panthers defense came to play. Newton would throw a runner out at second, and Parrish made a great sliding catch in foul territory, helping Hecht work around two singles in the inning.

With one out in the fifth, Hecht gave way to Alex Carpenter out of the Panthers bullpen. Hecht did a good job in his Panthers debut going 4.1 innings, giving up five hits, two runs (0 ER) walking four, and striking out three. He threw 80 pitches (48 strikes).

With Eric Hipp taking over on the mound for Lindenwood in the sixth, Parrish would greet him with a bomb over the right-field wall, tying the game. One out later, Catanza would double. After a walk to Blaise Maris, Newton doubled home Catanza to give the Panthers their first lead of the day at 3-2.

Freshman Brendan Riley would follow with a two-run single, making it a 5-2 game. For Riley, those were the first two RBIs of his Panther career. That would be the end of the day for Hipp, who gave way to Niko Marshall, who would get out of the inning without further damage.

The Lions would make a game of it in the seventh frame. Justin Barney came out of the bullpen to start the inning for the Panthers. Lindenwood quickly loaded the bases against him with one out. Catcher Dylan Owens, who had previously thrown out two runners at second, and picked off another at first, tried another pickoff. The ball hit the runner, allowing two runs to score, making it 5-4.

A walk to Dominic Revetta meant a pitching change, as Jake Lane was called on to get this game over with. After walking the first batter he faced to load the bases, Lane got the final two outs, registering his first save of the campaign.

For more info: Lindenwood @ Florida Tech Box Score

Rodnie Bernard had two hits, as did Newton and Riley, who each drove in two runs. The Parrish home run accounted for the other RBI.

Game two did not go according to plan for the Panthers. The Lions, who have had early success in all three games of this series, put an exclamation point on that in the first inning of the second game against Florida Tech starter Justin Lorenz.

Beckmann singled and went to second after a failed pickoff by Owens. That led to an RBI single from Kolby Schulte. After they loaded the bases later in the inning, Beau Collier singled, driving in two. An error allowed the runners to advance and it was 3-0. After Logan Rezash walked, Owens tried to pickoff the runner at third. He airmailed it, allowing two more runs to score, and just like that, it was 5-0.

Alex Gauspohl’s infield single made it 6-0, and that brought Lorenz (0-1) day to an end on the mound. He pitched 0.2 innings, allowing six hits and seven runs (five earned), he walked one and threw one wild pitch. Of his 44 pitches thrown, 28 were strikes. Jordan Murray took over on the mound.

Beckmann greeted him with an RBI single, and he would later score on a wild pitch, making it an eight-run inning for the Lions that saw 12 men come to the plate and about 45 minutes pass.

The Panthers (1-2) did not get a hit against Lindenwood starter Kyle Hentis until the fourth inning. It was a hit by Maris that Gauspohl tried to run down in right, but it fell in front of him, for a hustle double. He would be left stranded.

Two singles and a walk loaded the bases in the fifth for Lindenwood, bringing Murray’s day to a close. Freshman Andrew Dunham took over and gave up a two-run single to Schulte to make it 10-0. A passed ball made it 11-0. Dunham did collect his first collegiate strikeout in the frame.

That also closed the book on Barney, who pitched 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits (three earned) while walking four and striking out two. He threw 68 pitches, 40 strikes.

Meanwhile, Hentis (1-0) was cruising, allowing only the one hit to Maris and striking out the side twice in his six innings of work. He finished with 10 K’s, including five of the last seven Panthers he faced, throwing 94 pitches (53 strikes).

Schulte’s sac fly in the top of the seventh made it 12-0 and gave him four RBIs on the day.

For more info: Lindenwood @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)

The Panthers hit the road on Wednesday, February 5 against Georgia Southwestern State. The first pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.