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Panthers Win Wild Affair at Rollins

Top Photo: Rodnie Bernard

The Florida Tech Panthers (6-1) extended their win streak to six games on Wednesday, beating the Rollins College Tars 6-1 in a non-conference baseball tilt.

The Panthers had seven hits in the game with Jakob Newton coming up with two.

Joey Hecht got the start for the Panthers who used six relievers to nail down the victory. Hecht lasted two innings, giving way to Matt DiNenna, who was the eventual winner. Alex Carpenter pitched the final inning to earn the save.

Hecht was working with a lead before he even took the mound. One out After Raul Quintero drew a walk against Tars starter Carson Hauben, Rodnie Bernard hit his first home run in a Panthers uniform, putting the visitors up 2-0. Bernard was 1-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. 

DiNenna (1-0) would enter the game in the bottom of the third. Hecht pitched two innings walking three and striking out one. 

Florida Tech would add a run in the top of the fourth. After Diego Garcia singled, Alec Eldridge tripled into the gap, making it 3-0. It was his first RBI of the season. Bernard’s RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth scored Quintero who walked and stole second earlier in the inning, giving the Panthers a 4-0 lead.

The Panthers scored two runs with two outs in the sixth. Eldridge walked and stole second and after Blaise Maris walked and Sam Schner singled to bring Eldridge home with the fifth run. Quintero then reached on an error, allowing Eldridge to come home with the sixth run.

Liam Progulske entered the game in the bottom of the sixth, his Florida Tech debut on the mound. DiNenna went three innings allowing one hit. He struck out four and walked one. Progulske allowed a double and a walk before earning his first strikeout. 

A sac fly from Eddie Ayala got the Tars on the board and that was the end of the night for Progulske. Jordan Murray relieved him and after hitting the first batter he faced he induced an inning-ending fly ball and minimizing the damage as the Panthers headed to the seventh with a 6-1 lead.

Nick Santucci got the Tars closer with a solo home run in the inning against Panther reliever Andrew Dunham, making it 6-2. Reliever Blake Beyel was brought in with two runners on and after a single loaded the bases, he got Ryan Coleman to pop it up. Quintero alertly let it drop and the umpire did not call the infield fly rule. The Tars did score a run, but outs were recorded at third and then second, as the Panthers kept what could have been a big inning to two runs and a 6-3 score.

A two-run triple by Santucci in the bottom of the eighth got the Tars to within one at 6-5. 

They would threaten again in the ninth, but the Panthers thought they turned a game-ending double play and started to celebrate. While they were congratulating each other, the umpires overturned the call at first saying that Eldridge came off the bag. A fly out in the next at-bat would leave no doubt, as the Panthers escaped with the one-run win.  

For more info: Florida Tech @ Rollins Box Score

The Panthers will return home on Friday to host Tampa in a 5:00 game. The series will wrap up Saturday with a doubleheader at Tampa, beginning at 2:00 p.m.