Coming off an 8-6 loss on Thursday, the Florida Tech baseball team rebounded in a big way on Friday with a doubleheader sweep of the Lynn Fighting Knights at Seminick-Hall Field. The Panthers came away with a 4-2 win in game one and a 7-1 win in game two, concluding the three-game series.
Florida Tech head coach Greg Berkemeier gave the ball to freshman Mitchell Harding for his first start in a Panthers uniform. Harding got through the first inning allowing just a single. He ran into a bit of trouble in the second inning.
After a hit-by-pitch, a wild pitch, and a single later in the inning loaded the bases for Lynn Byron Murray and Lawrence Cicileo drew consecutive walks and the Fighting Knights went up 2-0.
The Panthers got one run back in the bottom of the frame. Diego Garcia doubled and Alec Eldridge and Blaise Maris followed with back-to-back singles to close the gap to 2-1.
The home team tied things up in the bottom of the third. Raul Quintero walked, and Jakob Newton singled. One batter later, Paul Castillo tied the game with a single.
After the Panthers loaded the bases in the fifth inning, Rodnie Bernard hit into a double-play, bringing Sam Schner to score. He singled earlier in the inning and gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead on Bernard’s double-play ball.
Harding (1-0) settled down after his second inning struggles, pitching through five innings and striking out seven. He threw 104 pitches, 58 for strikes.
A Maris double in the bottom of the sixth inning allowed Garcia to score, giving the Panthers a 4-2 lead.
From there, the defense took over. In the top of the seventh with a runner at second, Cicileo hit one to left field that looked like it was going to go. Newton had other ideas. He measured it and leaped, taking a home run away.
Trevor Romeo lined one to shortstop on the very next pitch. Bernard made a sparkling barehand play and an off-balance throw to record the third out. Credit Eldridge on the stretch as well, keeping the two-run lead intact.
Danny Vassallo pitched the final four innings allowing just one hit while throwing 41 pitches. He earned his first save in a Florida Tech uniform.
For more info: Lynn @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)
In game two Justin Lorenz took the mound and he was on his game much of the night, holding Lynn to two hits. He pitched four of the seven innings, with Blake Beyel and
Eastern Florida State product Alex Carpenter combining to shut the fighting Knights down over the final three frames.
Quintero started the first inning with a single and went to second on a failed pickoff. An error got him to third and he later scored on a Newton groundout, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
The only stumble for Lorenz came in the third inning when Anthony Sanabria took him out over the left-field wall. That lead held until the bottom of the fourth when the Panthers exploded for six runs.
Garcia’s 2-run triple made it a 3-1 game but Lynn looked to be out of the inning when Hayden Kimball struck out. The ball was dropped but the catcher had time to get the throw to first and end the inning. The throw was wild and that opened the floodgates as Garcia scored to make it 4-1. Quintero’s double plated two to make it 6-1. Quintero would come home on a newton single to complete the scoring.
Beyel would allow just one hit and strike out four in his two innings, and Carpenter struck out the side to end the game after hitting the first batter he faced.
For more info: Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)
Florida Tech (2-1) is back on the road on Wednesday, March 10 to take on Rollins. The first pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.