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Hecht Tosses Eight Innings in Panthers Win

Florida Tech got a big pitching performance from Joey Hecht on Thursday, helping them to a 6-3 win over Embry-Riddle in the opening game of a three-game series in Daytona.

The Panthers’ offense was led by Alec Eldridge who went 4-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Diego Garcia was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Dylan Owens went 2-for-4, while Paul Castillo and Dylan Dohanos each went 2-for-6 with an RBI.

 Hecht (3-0) threw eight innings, outlasting Embry-Riddle hurler John Barone. The game was scoreless for the first four innings with each team getting a runner to third in earlier innings.

The Panthers (28-14, 11-11 SSC) broke on top in the top of the fifth when Dohanos singled to start the frame. Two errors got him to third and he scored on a Brett Parrish groundout.

The first of three Florida Tech triples came off the bat of Eldridge to start the sixth. He would later score on Garcia’s RBI single. Castillo’s single later in the inning scored Garcia, giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead. Embry-Riddle reliever Casey Keller later walked Parrish with the bases loaded, making it 4-0. 

An error in the bottom of the sixth led to the Eagles’ first run and a wild pitch scored another run to make it 4-2. The Panthers answered in the top of the seventh when Eldridge tripled again and was chased home on a Jack Nagy single, upping the Panthers’ lead to 5-2.

The top of the ninth saw Garcia triple off of ERAU reliever Tyler Shaw. Dohanos would single him in, giving the Panthers a 6-2 cushion. 

Andres Rodriguez was called on to start the ninth, after Hecht went eight innings, allowing two runs (0 earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out two, throwing a very economical 89 pitches (56 strikes).

Josh Reynolds took Rodriguez deep in the bottom of the ninth, for the Eagles’ final run of the game.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Embry-Riddle Box Score

The series continues on Friday with a 6:00 p.m. first pitch.