Dylan Dohanos lined a double to left with two outs in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday night, giving the Florida Tech Panthers a 3-2 walk-off win over the visiting Flagler Saints.
Florida Tech (7-1) has now won seven straight games after their season-opening loss to Rollins. Flagler (2-5) held the lead until the ninth inning, with their pitchers being able to work out of trouble until the bottom of the ninth when it mattered most.
Flagler got on the board in the top of the first with a run against Panthers starter Samuel Orozco, who was making his first start in a Florida Tech uniform. Flagler then had runners at the corners in the second, but Orozco struck out three, including the final two batters in the inning, keeping it a 1-0 game.
Orozco retired Flagler in order in the third, before being relieved by Joey Hecht in the fourth. Orozco allowed four hits and one earned run in three innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out four, throwing 44 of 66 pitches for strikes.
The Saints loaded the bases against Hecht in the fourth and Trey Newland came through with an RBI single to extend the lead to 2-0. The Saints tried to score two on the play, but Jakob Newton threw a runner out at the plate to keep it a two-run game.
Hecht got through the seventh, giving the Panthers four innings, giving up one run on two hits. He walked one and struck out one, throwing 63 pitches (37 strikes).
The Panthers got one run back in the seventh. Dylan Owens doubled to start the frame and after two outs were recorded, Hayden Kimball reached on an error, putting runners at the corners. Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week Sam Schner came to the plate and hit a high chopper that he beat out, allowing Owens to score and make it 2-1. Despite loading the bases later in the inning, the Panthers were unable to push the tying run across.
Brett Parrish started a promising inning for the Panthers with a one-out single. He took second on a wild pitch and stole third with Owens at the plate. The ball Parrish stole the bag on was a low strike on Owens that appeared to be dropped and hit the dirt. Owens correctly took off for first and got to the bag. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the umpire ruled that Owens struck out, and instead of first and third, Parrish was at third, and the Saints were able to get the next batter to fly out.
Noah Steckley (1-0), who took over for Hecht in the eighth, got through unscathed and followed that up by striking out two in the top of the ninth, keeping the Panthers deficit at one.
Kimball got the Panthers started with a one-out double in the ninth. Schner walked, putting runners at first and second, bringing Dohanos to the dish. He wasted little time getting a hold of one to left field that was just out of the reach of the Flagler left fielder. With the speed on the bases, coach Jeff Tam waved both runners around and got the walk-off win.
Steckley got the first win of his Panther career, striking out three of the six batters he faced in his two innings of work. He threw 21 of 29 pitches for strikes.
For more info: Flagler @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers homestand continues Friday as they welcome Barry for the first Sunshine State Conference series of the season. Friday’s game starts at 6:00 p.m. with Saturday’s doubleheader slated for a 1:30 start.