TCC sweeps Opening Day doubleheader against South Georgia State

TCC sweeps Opening Day doubleheader against South Georgia State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 28, 2023) – The Bryan Henry era got off to a winning start on Sunday afternoon, with TCC winning both games of their Opening Day doubleheader against South Georgia State. 

The Eagles won 8-3 in the first game on Sunday, taking advantage of free passes and errors from South Georgia State. Seth Dudley (RHP, RS-Soph.) pitched three shutout innings out of the bullpen, relieving starter Kyle Morse (RHP, Soph.). 

"A lot of fight," said head coach Bryan Henry when asked about his team's performance in their first regular season games. "It's a long season, and each game individually is a long game. There are going to be ups and downs in each game and it's going to be the team that keeps their cool, keeps their composure and then finds a way to make it happen in the end." 

During the second game of Sunday's doubleheader, it was the Eagles who kept their composure. In the sixth inning, with a 3-2 lead, South Georgia State doubled in the tying run off of freshman left-hander Austin Asbill. The sun had already gone down and the rain had picked up at Eagle Field, so it was not going to be a simple finish. 

John Kent (RHP, RS-Fresh.) came in to pitch the seventh inning and gave up just one hit, giving TCC a chance to walk it off in the bottom half. With one out, Gregory Melo (INF, Fresh.) singled and represented the winning run. Patrick Sheffield (SS, Fresh.) followed with a single of his own, moving Melo into scoring position. 

Justen Crews (UTL, Soph.), who is one of a few returning starters from last year's squad, seemed to have come through with the game-winning hit, but as Melo rounded the slippery third base bag he fell to the turf and was forced to retreat. That loaded the bases for another returning starter, Ziggy Thomas (OF, RS-Soph.). 

South Georgia State changed pitchers and with one out still had a chance to escape the inning with a double play. The fans who stuck out the rain at Eagle Field were expecting Thomas to come through with a big hit as he often did in 2022, but instead he was hit by the pitch. Melo was able to trot home and when he touched the plate, the Eagles were 2-0. 

Jesus Vanegas (INF, RS-Fresh.) had a great day at the plate, tallying four hits on just five at-bats, including two doubles. Vanegas, who was a redshirt during the 2022 season, worked hard to have an impact on regular season games. 

"It felt amazing being out there with all my friends, all my teammates," said Vanegas after the second leg of the doubleheader. When asked about his performance at the plate he said, "See ball, hit ball. I was really confident with my at bats." 

"As the Fall went on, (Vanegas) established himself as the second baseman," said Henry. "He showed that today, grinding out tough at bats. I think both doubles were with two strikes and that's just a testament to him up there grinding." 

The Eagles take on FSC Jacksonville at home this Saturday at 1:00 PM. The game will not be streamed.