TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 4, 2016) – Tallahassee Community College stopped a seven-game losing streak on Monday, knocking off defending national champion Northwest Florida State College, 9-2, to even the teams’ Panhandle Conference baseball series at a game apiece.
Coupled with Pensacola State College’s loss at Chipola College, Tallahassee (29-14) moved into sole possession of third place in the league standings with the victory. The Eagles are 3-8 in league play, one half game ahead of both Pensacola State (2-8) and Northwest Florida State (2-8).
Tallahassee enjoyed its best offensive performance since last winning on March 16th, a 15-6 victory over Pensacola State.
Every starter collected at least one hit as Tallahassee battered four Raider pitchers for 17 hits. Five different players had multiple hits, led by Ethan Crout and Deyvid Silva, who were both 3-for-5. Josh Nothdorft, Myron Mebane, Bryan Scheker and Mac Wilson had two hits each.
The beneficiary of the Eagles’ offensive explosion was freshman pitcher Nick Marchese (4-2). The right-hander went 7.2 innings, limiting the Raiders to seven hits. Three of the hits he allowed came in the sixth when, aided by a two-out error, Northwest Florida State scored its only two runs of the game.
Tallahassee came out swinging from the outset and plated two runs in its first at-bat.
After Bret Maxwell reached base on a throwing error, he advanced to third on a single up the middle by Kyle Cavanaugh, who took second on the throw to third. Both runners scored on the first of Crout’s three singles.
Crout singled home Maxwell again in the third to start a three-run inning. Later in the inning, Mebane singled home Cavanaugh and Crout to give the Eagles a 5-0 lead.
Tallahassee padded its lead in the fifth but missed an opportunity to blow the game wide open.
Scheker singled home Crout to extend the lead to 6-0, and the Eagles eventually loaded the bases with just one out, but a force out at home and fly out to enter ended the threat.
Having avoided a potentially big inning, Northwest Florida State came to life in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs to pull within 6-2, and reliever Ronald May retired the Eagles in order in the bottom half.
But Marchese, who had allowed at least one base runner in each of the first six innings, came up with his first 1-2-3 inning in the seventh to all but stifle any attempt of a comeback by the Raiders.
Tallahassee got the two runs back with a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. With nobody on, Scheker singled off the fence in left, and Wilson hit one off the foot of May, whose errant throw allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Nothdorft tripled home both Scheker and Wilson to extend Tallahassee’s lead to 8-2.
Zach Featherstone capped the scoring with a solo shot to right to lead off the eighth. Skylar Arias came on with two outs in the eighth and recorded the final four outs.
The teams will play the rubber game of the series at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Eagle Field.