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Panthers Hang on to Beat Minnesota-Mankato

Florida Tech got a huge non-conference win on Tuesday, beating perennial powerhouse Minnesota State University-Mankato 4-3 at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field. With the victory, the Panthers won their second consecutive game for the first time this season.

Blake Beyel pitched the ninth inning and worked out of trouble, as he struck out Ty Buck to end the game, stranding two runners. The Mavericks had traffic all day, leaving 11 men on base.

The Panthers (7-17) managed just six hits in this one, with Brett Parrish going 2-for-3, and Tyler Brown going 2-for-2 with a run scored. Rodnie Bernard and Jakob Newton had the other hits for the Panthers, with Newton, Blaise Maris, and Alec Eldridge picking up the RBIs.

Panthers starting pitcher Justin Lorenz labored through the first couple innings, throwing 29 pitches right out of the gate. His first 1-2-3 inning came in the third, but he had to throw 57 pitches through three to get there.

Florida Tech got on the board early in this one, coming up with two runs in the top of the first. Bernard singled to start things and promptly stole second. A sacrifice but by Brett Parrish got him to third and a sacrifice fly by Maris made it 1-0. Newton would follow with an RBI single and the Panthers were up 2-0.

The Panthers would add two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Newton walked and Tyler Brown would extend his hitting streak to six games with a single. An RBI groundout by Eldridge made it 3-0. Brown would score on a wild pitch by Minnesota-Mankato starter Jon Ludwig, giving the Panthers a 4-0 lead.

Lorenz ran into trouble in the fifth, allowing a double and a single to start the inning. Hunter Ranweiler’s RBI single made it 4-1 and a two-run triple by Cam Kline, making it 4-3. Andrew Dunham came in out of the bullpen with one out and a runner at third and Mankato was able to load the bases, before Dunham worked out of it, preserving the one-run lead.

Lorenz pitched 4.1 innings, allowing seven hits, and three earned runs. He walked two and struck out three, throwing 88 pitches (54 strikes). He got a no-decision. Dunham got those two outs, walking two and striking out one. Eight of his 18 pitches were strikes. Andres Rodriguez came out of the bullpen to start the sixth.

Ludwig (0-1) got the first two outs of the bottom of the seventh, before leaving the game with apparent discomfort after throwing a pitch to Quintero. Trevor Divinski came in to get the final out of the inning.

Reliever Jake Lane started the eight for the Panthers and gave up a one-out single, before getting Sebastian Holte-Mancera to ground into a big double play, started by Brendan Riley at third base. It was a great play all the way around, keeping the Panthers slim lead intact. Lane threw just four pitches in that inning for the Panthers.

Blake Beyel came in to get the save for the Panthers. He allowed two runners to reach, before striking out Ty Buck looking to end the game.

Rodriguez (1-1) got the win in relief, pitching two innings, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out one. He threw 23 pitches. Beyel earned his first save of the year.

For more info: Minnesota State University-Mankato @ Florida Tech Box Score

The Panthers jump back into conference play on Friday, March 13 with the opener of a three-game series against Eckerd at Seminick-Hall Field. The first pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.