Trent Jeffcoat dives for a ball during the Eagles' season-opener vs. FSCJ (photo courtesy of Greg Rowland)
Trent Jeffcoat dives for a ball during the Eagles' season-opener vs. FSCJ (photo courtesy of Greg Rowland)

Eagles victorious in season opener

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 28, 2020) – Tallahassee Community College opened the 2020 baseball season with an 8-3 win over Florida State College at Jacksonville on Tuesday afternoon at Eagle Field. 

Nineteen new faces dot the Eagles' 2020 roster but it was veterans Trent Jeffcoat and Luke Ard who paced the offense with two hits each. Jeffcoat scored twice, drove in a run and stole bases while Ard scored and drove in a run and recorded a stolen base of his own. 

After spotting the Blue Wave a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, Tallahassee responded with a four-run inning in the bottom half. 

Orlando Adams was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved into scoring position two batters later when Cyrus Grimes drew a one-out walk. After Julian Barcelo blooped a single down the right field line to load the bases, Stan King's RBI-groundout scored Adams to get the Eagles on the board. 

Jeffcoat beat out an infield single to score Grimes with the tying run and keep the inning alive. After Jeffcoat swiped second, both he and Barcelo scored on Spencer Hanson's single to right for a 4-2 lead. 

FSCJ managed only one run and four hits the rest of the way against a quartet of Eagle relievers – Jude Ard, Zane Stephens, Leighton Alley and Nolan Daniel

Ard (1-0) picked up the win with three innings in relief. Although a runner he inherited in the top of the third scored, he was officially credited with no runs allowed and two hits in three innings of work. 

Tallahassee put the game away with single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Ard scored on Barcelo's sac-fly in the fourth then singled home Andrew Fernandez in the bottom of the fifth. 

The Blue Wave threatened to make things interesting in the sixth, chasing Stephens after an infield single and two hit batsmen loaded the bases with two outs. Alley, however, needed just one pitch, to retire Evan Wickeri and maintain the Eagles' three-run lead. 

Jeffcoat's speed was on display in the sixth. He stole second with one out then came all the way around to score when Spencer Hanson grounded out to second. 

A passed ball plated Adams with the game's final run in the seventh. 

Tallahassee will host Eastern Florida State College for a two-game series beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday.