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Panthers Overcome Early Deficit to Snap Losing Streak

Header pic: Danny Vassallo – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics

The Florida Tech Panthers rebounded from a lopsided loss to Tiffin one night ago, with a 9-3 victory over the Bridgeport Purple Knights on Wednesday at Seminick-Hall Field.

With the victory, Florida Tech improved their record to 12-5 and snapped a four-game losing streak in the process.

Jakob Newton led the Panthers with a 3-for-5 night at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring twice. Paul Castillo was 3-for-4 with a run scored and Jack Nagy and Alec Eldridge each went 2-for-4 with Nagy posting two RBIs. Florida Tech outhit Bridgeport 12-5.

Joey Hecht got the start for Florida Tech and Bridgeport jumped on him early with a run in the first. He would struggle again in the second, after allowing a double and two walks. A fielder’s choice made it 2-0 and Panthers head coach Jeff Tam took Hecht out after he walked another batter to load the bases again.

Danny Vassallo took over for Hecht and allowed only an RBI groundout before getting out of the inning without further damage. All three runs were charged to Hecht over an inning and a third. He walked three and struck out one, throwing 39 pitches.

Florida Tech (12-5) would answer in the fourth inning, scoring three times. Newton doubled to start the frame and went to third on a Brett Parrish fly-out. Newton scored on an error to make it 3-1. Eldridge and Castillo singled to load the bases and a Sam Schner grounder forced a rundown and allowed two runs to score, evening the score. 

The Panthers would take the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Purple Knights reliever Andrew Moran got the first out before hitting Dylan Dohanos and Nagy in consecutive at-bats. A wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet before Newton chased them both home with a triple, making it 5-3. A sac fly by Parrish made it 6-3 before the end of the inning.

Eldridge would lead off the bottom of the sixth with a double and scored on a sac fly by Luca Wentzel later in the inning to put the Panthers up 7-3. Nagy’s single would score Castillo, who reached on an error earlier in the frame, with the eighth run.

Wentzel doubled with one out in the eighth inning and came home one batter later on another double by Nagy to make it 9-3 and give the Panthers the decisive victory.

For more info: Bridgeport @ Florida Tech Box Score

Vassallo (3-1) got the win for Florida Tech pitching 4.2 innings of relief and allowing two hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, throwing 61 pitches. Aiden Pryzgoda, Andres Rodriguez, and Alex Carpenter each pitched an inning to finish the game. 

Florida Tech will start a three-game home series against Chestnut Hill on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.