TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 26, 2017) – Tallahassee Community College’s baseball team claimed the Panhandle Conference Wild Card berth on Wednesday, knocking off Northwest Florida State College, 11-5, at Eagle Field.
With the win, Tallahassee (27-23) will play in one of two FCSAA Tournament Wild Card games on Thursday. The Eagles will face Daytona State College (21-20), the Mid-Florida Conference Wild Card, at 5 p.m. in Palatka, Fla., with the winner advancing the 10-team FCSAA Tournament bracket in Lakeland, Fla., May 5-10.
Tallahassee used a relentless offensive attack on Wednesday to pick up its fourth win in six tries against the Raiders. The Eagles scored in every inning but the fifth and had opportunities for even more damage, stranding 10 runners for the game.
Northwest Florida State erased a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the second, but the Eagles answered with three in the bottom half.
Jack Hartman smashed a two-run homer to right centerfield, tying the game at 3-all. Later in the inning, a wild pitch by Gabe Austin – one of four charged to the Raider pitchers – plated Jordan Curtis with the go-ahead run, and the Eagles never trailed again.
Tallahassee scored another run in the third then began to put the game away an inning later. With one run having already scored in the fourth, Cole Vann hit a two-run homer to center to extend the Eagles’ lead to 8-3.
A two-out rally in the fifth pulled the Raiders within three – Ross Goforth’s two-run homer made the score 8-5, but Tallahassee, once again, answered with two runs in the sixth.
The Eagles scored their final run of the night in the eighth when Tucker Rayburn raced home from third on a wild pitch.
Brooks Buckler (4-5) went seven innings for the win. Derick Garcia needed only 14 pitches to record the final six outs of the game.
Curtis (3-for-5), Josh Nothdorft (3-for-4) and Vann (3-for-5) had three hits each for Tallahassee, as the top four hitters in the lineup went a combined 10-for-17. Tanner Thomas was 1-for-3.