Florida Tech Earns Key Road Win Against Flagler 4-3
By Florida Tech // April 8, 2015
Fifth Win In A Row
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Receiving yet another strong outing from starting pitcher Ty Cohen, and a timely eighth-inning go-ahead RBI off the bat of Austin Allen, 15th-ranked Florida Tech returned the favor in a narrow 4-3 escape at Flagler Tuesday night.
“They’re a really good club, very difficult to find a way to win against,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier following his club’s fifth consecutive victory. “I thought both teams played pretty well, but we were fortunate tonight to be able to find a way to score one more run than they did.”
In a rematch between starters, one Flagler pulled out 5-1 back on March 24, Cohen had the upper hand in round two.
The freshman improved to 6-1 on the year after surrendering five hits and three earned runs, all within the first two of seven total innings of work.
More importantly, Cohen seemed to excel as the game wore on, retiring the final 10 batters he faced.
“He wasn’t really in a good rhythm there early on in the game,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier.
“He was able to find it a little bit there in the middle innings, though, and just battled. That was really it. He competed out there, and that was good to see from him.”
“Again, a very difficult team and lineup to get through, but he found a way to get it done,” said Berkemeier,
After scoring just one run in their first meeting with the Saints, the Panthers drew first blood with a pair of runs in the first.
Coming off a week in which he hit 12-for-17 (.705), second baseman Reid Neal smacked a lead-off double to left on the game’s first pitch.Following a Grant McKown walk, Austin Allen drove in Neal on a single roped into right field.
Two batters later, after originally being ruled out on a ball fouled off his leg, Tyler Doughty laced a two-out RBI single through the left side to make it 2-0 Panthers.
Flagler answered back in the home half of the first, however, knotting the game at 2-2 on a bloop single just beyond the reach of Neal.
Another back-breaking two-out RBI put the Saints in front 3-2 in the second.
This time it was Florida Tech responding in the third inning. For the second time in as many at-bats, Neal recorded a double to lead-off the frame.
The Panthers’ table-setter would later come around to score on an Allen RBI groundout to first, tying things up at three apiece.
The contest became a pitcher’s duel in the middle innings, as 12 straight Florida Tech batters were set down at one point.
Still deadlocked at 3-3 in the eighth, Kevin Wortman and Neal ended the streak with back-to-back walks to give the Panthers some life.
With two outs, Allen stepped in with another grand opportunity, and once again delivered. Down 0-1 in the count, the catcher deposited a single into left, recording the eventual game-winning RBI.
“Austin had a good night offensively,” said Berkemeier.
“He drove in three runs on a couple knocks there for us, and did a great job of coming through in some big situations. Can’t say enough about the kid.”
In to seal the deal in the ninth, closer Jerrod Leinhauser made things interesting after walking the first two batters he faced.
But the senior would receive a gift after a Flagler attempted bunt was popped up, and turned into an unconventional 1-6 double play. Leinhauser would then induce a groundout to second, tallying his league-leading ninth save of the season.
Following his 2-for-3 performance, Neal has now notched eight straight games with at least two hits.
The Panthers dive back into league action, as they travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a crucial series with Nova Southeastern beginning Friday at 6 p.m.