MELBOURNE, Fla.-The Florida Panthers (23-18, 6-7 SSC) waged a successful late game comeback scoring five runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to overcome
Barry University (27-14-1, 7-9 SSC) 7-6 at the Seminick-Hall Field this afternoon in game one of a three game Sunshine State Conference series.
The Buc’s were ahead five runs before scoring one more insurance run in the top of the ninth inning assuming they could shut Tech down in their final at
bat. Barry’s starter Jayson Brown was still throwing looking to pitch a complete game, but this proved to be a bad decision to leave the junior right
handed pitcher on the mound.
After two Panther runs scored in the ninth, the designated hitter and the Bucs’ closer Jesse Naber was brought in a little two late with the bases loaded
and Tech’s tying run on base.
At the start of the 9th Barry’s catcher Gabriel Casanova sacrificed to left field to bring home right fielder Andrew Frezza to make the score 6-2 in the
Buccaneers favor. Frezza reached on stand-up double to left field. The lead however would not be enough to hold the Panthers next at bat.
In the bottom of the final inning, junior right fielder Jon Baksh (Mississauga, Ontario) led off for Tech and was hit by Brown. Clean-up batter senior
Devin Hopkins (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) hit is first single for the day advancing Baksh to second. Fellow senior catcher Randy Pitts (Melbourne, Fla.)
launched one to right field to keep the rally going while loading the bases.
Naber then proceeded to walk Tech’s next batter junior designated hitter Eamonn Powers (Staten Island, NY) , which scored Baksh. Sophomore left fielder
Brendan Twomey (Boca Raton, Fla.) reached on the first error by the Buc’s third baseman scoring Hopkins. Naber was then brought in for relief after Tech
narrowed the lead to only two runs. Pitts would score the next run after a knock to third by Brandon Veronee (Chester, Va.) who reached on a fielder’s
choice with Barry going for the easy out at second.
Veronee proceeded to claim the unattended base stealing second on a pitched outside ball. Senior second basemen Paul Stone struck out swinging
notching the second out of the inning.
Barry’s final crucial error came from the throw by their second baseman when Nick Brennan line a shot almost through the right side. Barry’s Gabriel
Casanova made a great diving stop on the play only to throw it away and score Tech’s sixth and seventh run to finish the ball game.
For the game six Panthers notched hits, while only Jon Baksh had two RBI.
Starting Pitcher Mike Succio, Jr. (Melbourne, Fla.) tossed seven innings allowing eight hits on five runs, two earned, while striking out and walking five
batters. Reliever Jody Danca (2-2), a native of Naples, Florida, picked up the win hurling the final two innings holding the Bucs to three hits and one
run, while fanning one batter.
Both teams will meet tomorrow with game one of the double header starting at noon.