TCC wins in wild fashion to split with Titans
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 2, 2020) – Tallahassee Community College's baseball team split a two-game series with Eastern Florida State College on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field.
First, the teams completed Saturday's series opener, which resumed in the top of the tenth with the score tied 1-1. The Titans scored twice in the tenth inning and claimed a 3-1 victory.
Sunday's regularly scheduled game was another ten-inning affair, one which the Eagles won, 12-11, on Daniel Bernstein's walk-off, bases-loaded single.
The near five-hour game featured a little bit of everything – a combined 30 hits and nine errors, close to 400 total pitches, a one-hour long seventh inning that featured 11 runs and saw both teams bat around, two blown leads of at least four runs and 17 strikeouts by six Tallahassee pitchers – leading up to Bernstein's at-bat, which was going to be the final one of the game regardless of the outcome.
Following the eighth inning, it was determined a new inning would not begin after 6:15 p.m. due to lighting issues at Eagle Field. With that deadline long gone and Tallahassee having tied the game after yielding two runs in the Titans' half of the tenth, Bernstein stepped to the plate knowing either the Eagles would win or the game would be declared a tie.
On a 3-1 pitch from Rafael Acosta, Bernstein lined one past the outstretched arms of shortstop Alejandro Rodriguez into left field, scoring Dilan Lawson and setting off a jubilant celebration as teammates chased him around Eagle Field.
Trailing 11-9, Spencer Hanson drew a leadoff walk and Jude Ard singled to get the tying runs on. After Hanson moved to third on a fly out to center, the complexion of the inning changed one batter later.
Lawson hit a shallow fly ball to right, where it appeared the Titans' Bryan Pena had made a diving catch for the second out. Hanson tagged from third and scored but Pena threw the ball into the Titans' dugout trying to double Connor Rakow, who entered as a pinch-runner for Ard, off first. Once the play was dead, it was determined Pena had not made the catch, everyone was safe, and Lawson and Rakow were awarded second and third, respectively.
After an intentional walk to Luke Ard loaded the bases, Bryson Kirksey grounded out to first and scored Rakow with the tying run. Another intentional walk, this one to Corey Yawn, loaded the bases for Bernstein, who went 1-for-3 after replacing staring catcher Julian Barcelo, who was shook up during the wild seventh inning.
A four-run fourth gave Tallahassee a 5-0 lead, and the Eagles still led 5-2 through six, but the wheels fell off an inning later.
Eastern Florida State scored seven runs despite only three hits in the inning. Tallahassee committed four errors – and a fifth came off the board when umpires took a run off the board and called Kyle Deatmon out for not sliding at home plate. Alejandro Rodriguez' second double of the inning finished the scoring and gave the Titans a 9-5 lead.
Tallahassee battled back in the bottom half, aided by Eastern Florida State's own defensive miscue. With the bases loaded and one out, Bernstein hit a fly ball to deep right center but the ball popped out of Pena's glove, allowing Lawson and Luke Ard to score. The damage appeared to be minimized when Bernstein was called out for passing Yawn, who was returning to first expecting the ball to be caught, but the Eagles scored twice more with two outs.
Joey Silvestri (1-0) pitched the final 3.2 innings and struck out six to earn the win.
Jeffcoat and Hanson had three hits each for Tallahassee. Jacob Estes, the Ard brothers, Lawson and Yawn each had two hits.
Eastern Florida State 3, Tallahassee 1 (completion of Saturday's game)
The teams resumed Saturday's series opener at 1 p.m. Sunday with the score tied 1-1 entering the top of the tenth.
After managing just two hits through nine innings on Saturday, Eastern Florida State collected four in Sunday's tenth inning. Tyler Isenburg's single to left scored Gabriel Vera and Connor Leary for what proved to be the winning runs in the 3-1 victory.
Jude Ard (1-1) took the loss for Tallahassee.
The Eagles will host South Georgia State College at 3 p.m. Monday, one hour earlier than originally scheduled to compensate for the lighting issues at Eagle Field.