#TCCBaseball falls in the ninth to Gulf Coast State

#TCCBaseball falls in the ninth to Gulf Coast State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 30, 2016) – Gulf Coast State College rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth to erase a one-run deficit en route to a 7-5 win over Tallahassee Community College on Wednesday evening in Panhandle Conference baseball action.

Tallahassee (28-12) has lost five straight games to fall to 2-6 in league play. Despite the losing skid, the Eagles remain in a third-place tie with Pensacola State College (2-6).

Of any game during the Eagles' losing skid, Wednesday had to qualify as the most difficult to swallow.

After Ethan Crout's two-out double in the sixth scored Kyle Cavanaugh, Tallahassee led 3-2, and starting pitcher Brooks Buckler retired the Commodores in order in both the seventh and eighth innings.

Buckler took the mound in the ninth, just three outs away from evening the series. The first batter of the inning, however, turned out to be his last. Josh Falk, who was hitless in his first three at-bats, took Buckler's 0-1 pitch over the left field fence to tie the game.

Ryan Terry (1-2) came on for Buckler but faced only two batters, both of whom reached base. The third pitcher of the inning, Rion Murrah, inherited runners at first and third then allowed a single to Brady Bell which plated the go-ahead run. The Commodores added three more runs in the inning for a 7-3 lead, the last two of the unearned variety following a two-out error.

Gulf Coast State's final two runs proved to be the difference.

Following a leadoff single by Crout to start Tallahassee's half of the ninth, Deyvid Silva homered to left to cut the Commodores' lead in half and knock out starter Nick Nelson.

Myron Mebane drew a walk from closer Deviner McCray to bring the tying run to the plate. McCray, however, struck out the next three batters to end the game and record his 11th save.

Nelson (8-2) went eight-plus innings to earn the victory.

Buckler, who ended up with a no-decision, gave the Eagles a solid start. Despite scattering 11 hits over eight-plus innings, he didn't allow a walk and struck out nine.

He also induced three ground-ball double plays and after allowing a leadoff triple in the fourth, got out of the inning unscathed – all of which kept the Commodores at bay for much of the afternoon.

Prior to the ninth, Gulf Coast State scored its only runs in the fifth when shortstop Wes Roberson's two-run single tied the game at 2-all.

Tallahassee took advantage of a two-out error in the first to get on the board.

With Bret Maxwell on second following a one-out double, Zach Featherstone flew out to deep centerfield. Maxwell tagged up and advanced to third then scored when the throw from centerfielder Austin Murphy skipped away from Roberson.

Tallahassee increased its lead to 2-0 in the fourth on Crout's RBI-singled. He finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs.  

Tallahassee will try to avoid the series sweep when the teams return to Panama City for game three at 5 p.m. eastern on Friday.