Photo: Justin Lorenz – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
After their series-opening win on Thursday at Winter Park, the Panthers came back home on Friday and swept a doubleheader from the Rollins Tars by scores of 10-3, and 7-0. Blake Beyel (in relief), and Justin Lorenz both pitched exceptionally well to get wins in their respective games.
In the oddest of baseball occurrences, Florida Tech would manage only four hits in game one, despite their 10-run outburst.
Rollins used four pitchers in game one and walked nine Panthers. That coupled with three wild pitches and two hit batters had Rollins on the ropes all game.
The Panthers started the scoring in the second against Rollins starter Steven Swift. Paul Castillo walked and stole second before a walk to Brett Parrish. After an Alec Eldridge sac bunt, Blaise Maris would ground out, bringing Castillo home.
Another run came across in the second as Raul Quintero walked with one out, and moved to second on a wild pitch. After he stole third. Jakob Newton would drive him in with a single, giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
According to Jerry Durney in the Florida Tech Sports Information Department, the steal of third by Quintero was his 47th and moves him into a tie in the top 10 in Panther’s history in that category, with Nick Brennan.
Rollins got a run back in the fourth with a Sam LaFontaine RBI single against Panthers hurler Mitchell Harding. The Panthers would answer in the bottom of the inning when Maris singled home Parrish, who walked earlier in the inning. That run-scoring single came against Rollins reliever Kyle Kramer.
The Tars got back in the game in the top of the fifth. Harding walked Cameron Meehan to start the inning and was quickly lifted in favor of Beyel. Two singles including one from Luke Reidy scored Meehan and made it 3-2. After a walk loaded the bases, Beyel got the next two outs only to hit LaFontaine and force home the tying run.
Harding would go four plus one batter, leaving with a no-decision. He allowed two earned runs on three hits and also gave three free passes. He threw 77 pitches, 45 strikes.
Florida Tech would get those runs back in the bottom of the fifth. Quintero walked and went to second on a wild pitch. After Newton walked, Rodnie Bernard reached on an error to load the bases. Castillo would ground into a double-play to bring a run home and Parrish followed with a ringing triple, to give the Panthers a 5-3 lead.
The score would remain that way until the Panthers broke things open in the bottom of the seventh, with more help from the Tars.
Newton walked with one out and after a Bernard single, a walk to Castillo would load the bases. Parrish would then be hit by a pitch, scoring Newton with the sixth run.
Eldridge then hit a ball that was mishandled, scoring two runs. The throw to third was wild, allowing Parrish to score the third run, upping the Panthers’ lead to 9-3. A wild pitch would allow Eldridge to score the final Florida Tech run.
Beyel (2-0) did yeoman’s work in relief, giving up one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out five, throwing 50 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
The Tars were their own worst enemy in this game, not only giving the Panthers all those unearned runs but also leaving 12 runners on base themselves.
For more info: Rollins @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)
Game two was a seven-inning affair and was a bit less eventful for the Panthers from an offensive standpoint. They scored a single run in the second inning when Parrish scored on a sacrifice fly by Hayden Kimball.
Lorenz was on the mound for the Panthers and was as about as economical as you could be. He threw his 70th pitch to end the sixth inning and had a great game. The Panthers would give him a ton of insurance in the sixth inning, sending 10 men to the plate with six coming in to score.
Castillo singled and went to second when Parrish reached on a fielder’s choice. After a sac bunt moved both runners, Eldridge was intentionally walked, bringing Kimball to the plate. He made the Tars pay as he rifled a single to left, scoring two and expanding the home team’s lead to 3-0. Quintero would later lace a double to left-center, making it 5-0.
A sac fly by Newton scored Sam Schner and an RBI single by Bernard kept the merry-go-round in motion and putting the Panthers up 7-0.
Lorenz (3-0) was done after six, scattering five hits over six shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four, with 46 of his 70 pitches for strikes. Andres Rodriguez would get the final three outs in the seventh.
With this sweep of the doubleheader, the Panthers win the season series, four games to none.
For more info: Rollins @ Florida Tech (Game 2)
Florida Tech (12-10, 11-9 SSC) will next play on Friday, April 30 when they host Palm Beach Atlantic to kick off what will be five games between the two teams to end the season. Friday’s single game will get underway at 6:00 p.m.