Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@ on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – It was a cold night in Tallahassee as the Tallahassee Community College Eagles cruised to a 7-2 victory over the Pasco-Hernando State Conquistadors. TCC starting pitcher Brooks Buckler made sure the Conquistador’s bats were cold too. Through five innings, he gave up no hits and no walks. He also struck out four.
Offensively, it was hard for the Eagles to get going early on. Lead-off hitter Bret Maxwell got on base in the first inning, but was caught stealing.
In the bottom of the second inning, Casey Cribb and Tucker Rayburn got on base with no outs. Jack Hartman hit the ball right at Pasco-Hernando pitcher Tyler Beck, who then bobbled the ball. That allowed Cribb and Rayburn to advance, but Hartman mistakenly started running towards second base after the bobble. And, was thrown out when trying to get back to first base. Myron Mebane flied out, and Jordan Curtis struck out. Suddenly, the rally was over.
The Eagles turned it around in the third. Chris Clark started the inning with a triple, and would later score on a wild pitch. The Eagles scored three more times in the inning, with runs scored by Deyvid Silva, Casey Cribb, and Tucker Rayburn.
Jack Hartman scored for the Eagles in the fifth. Then two runs by Clark and Maxwell gave the Eagles all the insurance they needed.
Although the Eagles won easily, manager Mike McLeod said the offense should’ve capitalized more on their opportunities.
“We swung at a lot of air tonight when we had guys in scoring position. We got to learn how to put the ball in play,” said McLeod, who is in his 27th year as TCC’s manager. “When we got the other team down, we gotta kick them, and we’ve gotta keep them down. We had many opportunities to really drive home the final nail and we never did. We kept them in the game.”
In the top of the sixth, Pasco-Hernando got on the board when first baseman Alex Reynolds drove home Tyree Austin on a single to shallow left. The next inning, left fielder Jose Oliva smashed a ball over the left field fence for a solo home run.
Christian Dearman finished the last 2.1 innings for the Eagles. He gave up no runs, and struck out three.
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Jan. 28. The first game starts at 1:00 p.m