The Florida Tech Panthers won their first series of the season on Sunday, pounding 13 hits on their way to a 14-0 win over the Spring Hill Badgers.
The Panthers (3-7) got a five-RBI day from Alec Eldridge as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Rodnie Bernard went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, pinch-hitter Gabe Ferrer went 1-for-1 with two RBIs, and Brendan Riley had two RBIs without even taking the bat off his shoulder and scored a run.
Boris Villa Barros (1-1) got the start for the Panthers and he was masterful, despite having to sit through a few very long innings, as he watched his offense put on quite a show. Villa Barros would allow just two hits in five innings, striking out four and walking two. He threw 78 pitches, 45 for strikes. It looked like his day may be a short one, as he threw 27 pitches in the first inning. He settled down a bit from there, getting a 10, 17, 11 and 13 pitch innings in the next four.
The Panthers went down in order in the first against Spring Hill starter AJ Fell, but in the second inning, the Panthers got rolling. After Dylan Owens walked, Vinny Catanza got a sun-aided single, and one out later Jakob Newton walked to load the bases. Riley would then be hit in the helmet, bringing home Owens with the Panthers’ first run.
The Panthers sent 11 men to the plate in the third inning, starting with singles from Raul Quintero and Brett Parrish. Owens would single, but Quintero was cut down trying to score. Maris would single to score Parrish and Riley drew a bases-loaded walk later in the frame, giving his team a 3-0 lead. Riley had two RBIs in three innings on a hit by pitch and a walk.
Riley Spearman was brought out of the bullpen to spell Fell, but he was greeted by an Eldridge triple down the right-field line that cleared the bases and doubled the Panthers lead to 6-0. Bernard’s RBI single made it 7-0 and Quintero was walked, meaning he reached base twice in the inning. He was left stranded.
Florida Tech was far from done and they tacked on four more in the fourth. Owens singled and Spearman walked the next two batters. Geo Camfield was called on to replace Spearman, and after getting the first two outs, he gave up a two-run single to Eldridge, who collected his fourth and fifth RBIs, and a two-run double to Bernard, making it 11-0.
Justin Lorenz came on to pitch the sixth for the Panthers and got a 1-2-3 inning, helped by a sliding catch by Newton in center, robbing Daniel Rodriguez of a hit.
The Panthers would load the bases again in the sixth against Badger’s reliever Grant Atwood. Ferrer came on as a pinch-hitter and smacked a two-run single to right. Brian Lopes RBI single later in the inning, made it 14-0.
The Badgers went down in order in the seventh against Panthers reliever Andrew Dunham, and the two coaches agreed to end the game, as the Badgers were looking at a long bus ride home.
For more info: Spring Hill @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers begin Sunshine State Conference play on Friday, February 21 at Rollins with a three-game series at Rollins. The first pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Friday.