TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 17, 2018) – Tallahassee Community College rallied for a 7-3 win in game one of Saturday's Panhandle Conference baseball doubleheader with Gulf Coast State College.
The Eagles (19-12, 3-5 PC) missed a chance at the sweep, however, dropping game two, 5-2, and remain two games back of second-place Gulf Coast State (17-11, 5-3) in the league standings.
In the opener, Tallahassee's Alex Stobert and Gulf Coast State's Brett Lively were locked in a scoreless tie through 4.5 innings. Then suddenly, the teams exploded for ten combined runs in the next inning and a half.
Tallahassee got on the board first in the fifth.
Stobert, who allowed only two hits and struck out four through the first five innings, issued back-to-back walks to start the sixth and end his afternoon.
With Jake Kinney on the mound, the Commodores advanced the tying runs into scoring position on a sac-bunt. Following a strikeout, head coach Mike McLeod elected to put Alec Aleywine on to load the bases, but Kinney's fourth pitch of the intentional walk sailed to the backstop, scoring Stevie Moffatt from third.
Another walk loaded the bases and Malik Spratling took Kinney's 1-2 pitch to center for a two-run single to give the Commodores a 3-2 lead.
Tallahassee answered in the bottom half.
A one-out error set things in motion for the Eagles, who finally knocked out Lively after Sowden singled to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
With the bases loaded, Vann doubled off the wall in right-center to score Mason Miller with the tying run. Sowden, who was on second, was forced to wait and make sure the ball dropped. He tried to score anyway but was thrown out at the plate, keeping the game knotted at 3-all.
The next batter, Tucker Rayburn, got the go-ahead run home on a single through the hole on the left side. After a walk loaded the bases, Ard cleared them with a triple to right-center.
He finished 3-for-4 with four RBI.
Kinney (3-0) got the win for Tallahassee, working two innings in relief of Stobert.
In game two, Aleywine took a no-hitter and a 4-0 lead into the sixth.
Keith Lyle tripled for the Eagles' first hit of the game and scored on Miller's single. Three batters later, Lacey singled to shallow left to score Miller and cut the Commodores' lead in half.
Gulf Coast State got one of the runs back in the seventh then survived the Eagles' last-gasp rally in the bottom half.
Aleywine gave up a single and walked two batters to load the bases with one out, but Jeremy Shumsky came on in relief and struck out Miller and retired Tanner Thomas on a ground out to short to end the game.
Lacey (3-3) took the loss for Tallahassee, who will step out of Panhandle Conference play for three doubleheaders next week beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday against the Edward Waters College JV.