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Eagles split Thomas University JV in doubleheader

Eagles split Thomas University JV in doubleheader

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 28, 2023) — TCC Baseball split Tuesday's afternoon doubleheader against the Thomas University JV Night Hawks. The 6-4 loss in game two was the first against Thomas JV since 2017, when the Eagles were swept at home in a doubleheader. 

The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI-double from Nick Smith, scoring Ziggy Thomas who singled to lead things off. 

Carter Stanford got the start in game one and pitched a solid first two innings, keeping the Night Hawks off the board. Jessiah Branch relieved Stanford in the third inning after he loaded the bases before recording an out. Two runs came across for Thomas, both credited to Stanford, but Branch got out of the inning without allowing any more damage. The Night Hawks' lead was short-lived, as TCC added three runs in the bottom of the third. The first two came on a Marco Dinges triple, and Nick Smith drove in the go-ahead run to make it 4-3. The Eagles broke things open in the sixth inning when Jesus Vanegas and Marco Dinges combined for back-to-back home runs, the fourth home run of the season for both of them.

Branch pitched the final five innings of the seven-inning contest, finishing with 0 earned runs and picking up his second win of the season. His longest outing before Tuesday was 2.2 innings against Shelton State on February 12. He now has a 1.69 ERA over four appearances and 10.2 innings.

It was another hot start in game two, with Ziggy Thomas scoring on an error by the pitcher, and Luis Gomez singling home Gregory Melo to give the Eagles an early 2-0 lead. Their offense struggled throughout the rest of the game, however. 

Brett Gwinn got the start on the mound in game two, and pitched the first three innings without allowing a baserunner. Thomas picked up their first hit in the fourth inning, but Gwinn was able to work into the fifth before making way for Harper McLendon. Gwinn's final line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO. 

McLendon allowed the two runners he inherited from Gwinn to score, and then two more came across before he could get out of the inning. Now trailing 4-2, head coach Bryan Henry turned to RHP Gercal Reyes-Alvarado to try and stop the bleeding. Reyes-Alvarado pitched 1.1 innings without allowing a run, but Brennan Baker allowed two in the seventh to make it 6-3 Thomas. 

Marco Dinges homered in the bottom half to make it 6-4, but the Eagles failed to complete the comeback and fell to 12-4 on the season. 

Tomorrow, the Eagles head to Brewton, Alabama to take on Coastal Alabama - East at 1:00 ET. Saturday, they'll travel to Tifton, Georgia to take on ABAC, before returning home on Monday for a doubleheader against Grand Rapids.