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Castillo’s Big Night Leads Panthers to Win

The Florida Tech Panthers hit the road for the first time since February 26 on Friday traveling to Lakeland to take on the Florida Southern Moccasins. Paul Castillo’s five-RBI night included a three-run home run and helped the Panthers win 10-7. 

Joey Hecht (2-0) got another start in place of Boris Villa. Hecht went five innings and picked up his second win of the season. It is also the Panthers’ second straight win.

Hecht gave up a two-run homer to Duncan Hunter in the bottom of the first, but the Panthers had a big second inning against FSC pitcher Nathan Madej. 

Dylan Owens walked and a single by Alec Eldridge moved him to second. Two outs later, Sam Schner singled to load the bases. Dylan Dohanos walked to make it 2-1 and Castillo’s 2-run double made it 3-2. Jakob Newton followed with a two-run double, giving the Panthers a 5-3 lead.

Connor Berry’s solo home run in the home half of the second made it 5-3 and it sated that way until the top of the sixth when the Panthers put together a two-out rally against Mocs reliever Collin Camarigg. Schner and Dohanos singled putting runners at the corners and Castillo lost a ball over the wall in right-center, giving the visitors an 8-3 lead.

Hecht gave up two singles to start the bottom of the sixth and coach Jeff Tam went to the bullpen to get Daniel Vassallo. Hunter greeted him with a two-run double, closing the gap to 8-5. Both runs were charged to Hecht who allowed five earned runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out one, throwing 63 pitches, 45 for strikes.

Florida Tech (24-7, 8-5 SSC) got those runs back in the top of the seventh. Brett Parrish singled and scored on an Eldridge RBI double, to up the lead to 9-5. Diego Garcia made it 10-5 with an RBI single.

Jared DeSantolo’s 2-run double in the bottom of the seventh made it 10-7, but Vassallo got out of the inning and gave way to Andres Rodriguez to start the eighth. Rodriguez gave up one hit and struck out three, picking up his second save of the season.

For more info: Florida Tech @ FSC Box Score

The series will conclude on Saturday with a doubleheader. Game one starts at 1:00 p.m.