TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - – Tallahassee Community College’s baseball team picked up a 17-7, six-inning victory over Chipola College on Monday afternoon at Eagle Field.
With the win, Tallahassee (32-15, 6-9) kept pace with Northwest Florida State College (30-14, 5-8) in the race for the Panhandle Conference’s Wild Card berth. Though virtually tied in the win-loss column, the Eagles remain percentage points ahead of the Raiders heading into Wednesday’s 6 p.m. eastern game at Chipola.
Monday’s game was never in doubt.
Tallahassee starting pitcher Brooks Buckler retired the Indians in order in the top of the first. When he took the mound for the second inning, he had an 8-0 lead.
The Eagles sent 12 batters to the plate in their first at-bat, piling up eight runs on five hits, knocked out Chipola starter and losing pitcher Addison Reed before he recorded an out and seized control of the game.
From the outset, Reed had trouble finding the strike zone.
Leadoff batter Josh Nothdorft worked the count to 3-1 before taking Reed’s next pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run. Reed followed that with a hit batsman and three consecutive walks, the last to Ethan Crout, which plated Bret Maxwell for a 2-0 lead. After Deyvid Silva singled to score Zach Featherstone, Myron Mebane’s bases loaded double scored three runs, pushed the Eagles’ lead to 6-0 and chased Reed.
With two outs and nobody on, Nothdorft picked up his second hit of the inning, a bunt single, and advanced Mebane to third. Maxwell followed with a run-scoring double to plate Mebane, and a balk allowed Nothdorft to trot home with the eighth run of the inning.
Chipola scored in each of the next four innings – two runs in both the second and third, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth – but Buckler and two relievers dodged the big inning, and Tallahassee’s bats continually answered any surge by the Indians.
Tallahassee answered the Indians’ second inning runs with one in the bottom half on Mebane’s RBI-ground out to second.
After Chipola scored two in the third, Tallahassee got the runs back in the bottom half.
With runners at second and third and one out, a passed ball scored Nothdorft from third. Featherstone followed with a single to plate Maxwell and give the Eagles an 11-4 lead.
Leading 11-5, Tallahassee tacked on three runs in the fourth.
Mac Wilson’s single scored Silva from second. Then, with runners at first and second and two outs, Maxwell hit an opposite field single to right, scoring Bryan Scheker from second. When right fielder Reynaldo Rivera’s throw sailed over the head of catcher Miguel Rojas, Wilson, who never broke stride, rounded third and slid in ahead of the tag at home to give the Eagles a 14-5 lead.
Chipola scored two runs against Ryan Terry in the fifth and had runners at second and third with one out. That ended Terry’s afternoon after just 0.1 inning and brought on Thomas Nicoll, who promptly struck out Myles Edwards and retired Jay Estes on a line drive back to the mound to get out of the inning.
Tallahassee wasted no time putting the game away in the sixth.
Wilson drew a leadoff walk and moved into scoring position on a single by Nothdorft, his fourth hit of the game. After Maxwell walked to load the bases, Featherstone singled to score Wilson. The next batter, Kyle Cavanaugh, singled up the middle to score Nothdorft and Maxwell to end the game.
Nothdorft (4-for-5) and Silva (4-for-4) combined for half of the Eagles’ 16 hits. Nothdorft also scored four runs.
Maxwell was 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs.
Featherstone was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two driven in.
Mebane was 1-for-3 with four RBIs.
Nicoll (6-0) picked up the win with 1.2 innings of no-hit relief.
***Courtesy TCC Athletics