Header pic: Paul Castillo – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
The Florida Tech baseball team wrapped up their 2022 season on Sunday in dramatic fashion when senior Paul Castillo hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning in his final at-bat as a Panther. His storybook blast earned the Panthers a split of the season-ending doubleheader against Palm Beach Atlantic.
The moment @PCaastillo became a Panther legend! pic.twitter.com/G10hLBgAUq
— Florida Tech Baseball (@FloridaTechBB) May 9, 2022
Castillo was one of nine seniors honored prior to the start of game one, including Alex Carpenter, Jack Nagy, Dylan Dohanos, Jakob Newton, Boris Villa, Dylan Owens, Andres Rodriguez, and Joey Hecht.
As memorable as game two was, game one was a forgettable one. PBA scored five runs in the first inning against Rodriguez, who got the start. The first two batters reached before Mikey Casaleggio singled home a run. The second run of the inning came home on a wild pitch and the highlight of the inning was a three-run home run by Jake Roper.
The second inning started with a double by Matthew Faranda and a balk got him to third. Casaleggio got another RBI single to make it 6-0. Two consecutive wild pitches brought Casaleggio home with the seventh run. After Rodriguez walked another batter, Justin Lorenz came in to get the final out of the frame.
Rodriguez (2-1) was tagged with seven runs on six hits, walked two, and struck out four. He also uncorked four wild pitches in his 1.2 innings of work. He threw 51 pitches, 31 for strikes.
Nate Housen hit a solo home run with one out in the third and Matty Warren added an RBI single, extending the Panthers’ lead to 9-0. They would keep their foot on the gas in the fourth, as Roper’s second long ball of the day made it 10-0.
Lorenz got the Sailfish in order in the fifth before he departed. He pitched 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out one and did not walk a batter, throwing 26 of his 39 pitches for strikes.
The Panthers finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Hayden Kimball singled and Newton walked two outs later. That brought Brett Parrish to the plate and he launched his first home run of the season, cutting the Sailfish lead to 10-3.
Tyler Vermillion took the mound for the Panthers in the top of the sixth. A sac fly in the inning by Davis Blair made it 11-3. They would add another run in the top of the seventh on an error. The scoring finished with a bang for Palm Beach Atlantic, thanks to a three-run homer by Faranda in the top of the ninth.
Drew Holweger (2-2) got the win in game one, pitching six innings and giving up three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out eight, throwing 67 of his 102 pitches for strikes.
Parrish was the only Panther who had a multi-hit day. He finished 2-for-4, accounting for all of the Panthers’ runs. Dohanos finished 1-for-5, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Faranda and Housen each had three hits, as PBA matched their run total with 15.
For more info: PBA @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)
The Sailfish (16-34, 6-24 SSC) picked up right where they left off to start game two. They got two runs in the second inning against Noah Steckley. Back-to-back singles by Sean Houck and Roper started the inning and Jiovel Lantigua’s single knocked in Houck. They would add another run on a wild pitch.
Steckley was done after two innings. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out four. He threw 32 pitches, 23 strikes. Zach Rodgers came in to start the third.
Florida Tech got a run back in the bottom of the third. Castillo walked and Luca Wentzel reached on an error before Sam Schner singled in a run. Dohanos walked to load the bases with nobody out, but Sailfish starter Ryan Webster induced a 3-2-3 double-play ball off the bat of Nagy. Newton then struck out to end what could have been a huge inning. Instead, Palm Beach Atlantic still led 2-1.
Rodgers kept the Panthers in the game with three strong innings of work. He allowed just one hit in his three innings of work, striking out three and walking two. He threw 50 pitches, including 32 strikes.
Danny Vassallo took over for Rodgers to start the sixth inning and gave up a two-out RBI single to Davis Blair to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
Webster got through five innings on the mound for PBA, allowing one unearned run, walking three, and striking out three. Dan Beebe took over in the sixth and got the Panthers to hit into their third double play of the game, keeping his squad ahead.
The Panthers (31-19, 14-16 SSC) had their chances in the bottom of the seventh inning but a caught stealing and a great catch by PBA outfielder Frank Ramppen who dove to take at least a double away from Alec Eldridge and keep the two-run lead intact.
Carpenter came on to start the eighth inning in relief, marking his final appearance in a Florida Tech uniform. Vassallo went two innings, allowing one run on four hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter, throwing 23 of his 31 pitches for strikes.
Florida Tech made some noise in the bottom of the eighth starting with a heads-up double by Kimball, who was pinch-hitting. He took third on a wild pitch and eventually scored on a groundout by Schner, closing the gap to 3-2.
Carpenter did his part, retiring the Sailfish in order again in the ninth, giving the Panthers a chance in the bottom of the ninth, and they did not let it slip.
Newton walked and Parrish singled to start the inning and both moved up on a wild pitch. Owens was up next and struck out on a check swing, called by the base umpire. Eldridge was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Castillo made PBA pay when he singled home Newton to tie the game at three.
Kimball came to the plate and worked a full count. He thought he had drawn the walk but was called out on strikes. Beebe then got Schner to fly out, ending the inning and setting up free baseball.
Carpenter pitched his third inning of the night in the top of the 10th and allowed a single, but nothing more. That earned him a very rare fourth inning of work and unfortunately, he allowed a solo home run to Jiovel Lantigua leading off the inning and giving the Sailfish a 4-3 lead. Carpenter did finish the inning, allowing two hits and one run in his four innings. He struck out three and walked one, throwing 38 of his 60 pitches for strikes.
Eldridge drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the 11th, putting the tying run on. Castillo then came up and with a 1-1 count, he blasted a two-run home run and gave the Panthers a 5-4 win. With that, Carpenter (2-2) ended up with an improbable win for the Panthers in his final appearance.
For more info: PBA @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)
Thank you to the players and coaches that we interacted with over this sports year. Thank you to all of you who visited the site and we hope to have you back in the fall. Until then, be sure to visit our archives section. Have a safe summer.