Eastern Florida Baseball, Softball Defeat Broward

By  //  April 5, 2015

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Eastern Florida was able to pull of a victory over Broward College on Saturday at Bruce Bochy Field 5-4. (Eastern Florida image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Sophomore Christian Diaz hit a two-out single to left-centerfield to lift Eastern Florida to a 5-4 11-inning victory over Broward College on Saturday at Bruce Bochy Field.

EFSC-LOGO-SEAL-180The FCSAA Southern Conference victory gave Eastern Florida a two-game sweep of Broward and moved the Titans’ record to 11-9 in the conference and 23-17 overall.

The Titans are locked in a battle for third place with Miami Dade, which began the day at 10-9.

Broward fell to 11-8 in the conference but maintained its hold on second place. The Seahawks are 23-19 overall.

The top two conference teams automatically advance to the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Tournament. The third-place finisher must win a play-in game to advance.

Christian Diaz
Christian Diaz

Eastern Florida led 4-2 in the top of the ninth on Saturday but Broward scored twice, the second run coming on second baseman Jo Jo Collazo’s home run to leftfield off reliever Miguel Castellanos who blew the save but ultimately earned the victory.

The Titans failed score in their half of the ninth sending the game to extra innings.

Each team loaded the bases in the 10th but failed to score, setting up the climactic 11th inning.

The Titans outhit the Seahawks 13-6 but committed three early errors. Broward had no errors.

Titans starter Blair Calvo pitched seven innings of three-hit ball for his second straight strong outing but did not get the decision.

Nick Capra went 3-for-4 for the Titans. Diaz was 2-for-6 with the decisive run batted in. Vinny Capra had two hits. Freddi Ramos had a double and two RBI.

Jeff Tam
Jeff Tam

“The guys did a great job in all facets of the game,” said Eastern Florida head coach Jeff Tam.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them winning a tough game against a tough team.”

Eastern Florida has non-conference games against ASA College Miami at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Elev8 Academy at 4 p.m. Wednesday before meeting Broward in a Friday-Saturday home-and-home series.

Admission is free.

Eastern Florida Softball Sweeps Broward

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Knowing it had to win the opening game of its doubleheader with Broward College on Saturday to qualify for the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Tournament Eastern Florida’s softball team did just that.

The Titans beat Broward 9-1 in six innings on the Palm Bay Campus to secure at least a fourth-place finish in the FCSAA Southern Conference and the automatic qualifying spot that goes with it. (Eastern Florida image)

The Titans beat Broward 9-1 in six innings on the Palm Bay Campus to secure at least a fourth-place finish in the FCSAA Southern Conference and the automatic qualifying spot that goes with it.

The Titans also won the second game 9-1, sending 13 batters to the plate in the fifth inning and scoring eight runs with two outs for another mercy rule victory.

Their conference record improved to 8-6.

The Titans qualified for the postseason for the 11th straight time. The NJCAA/FCSAA Tournament is the first weekend of May at Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

Dajia Jones
Dajia Jones

Fifth-place Broward fell to 0-12 with the losses. The top four teams advance.

Eastern Florida improved to 17-15 overall while Broward dropped to 5-31.

Eastern Florida fell behind 1-0 in the first inning of the first game but scored three times in the bottom of the first. The Titans stretched their lead to 4-1 in the fourth; 7-1 in the fifth and won it on a Broward error that allowed two runs to score in the sixth, invoking the eight-run mercy rule.

Sophomore Dajia Jones had two hits in the opener, reached base all four times and scored three times. Freshman Taylor Zitiello scored twice. Classmate Natasha Kistler had two runs batted in.

Eastern Florida finished with five hits.

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Freshman Whitney Stevens got the win for the Titans allowing four hits.

Broward committed five errors.

Sophomore Shelby Nazworth’s two-out, two-run pinch-hit triple broke a 1-1 tie in the second game.

Carly Nicholas followed with a triple. Pinch-hitter Sarah Hart later added a third as the Titans collected six hits to go with three walks, a wild pitch and a Broward error to complete the sweep.

Kayla Byers picked up the win, allowing three hits.

Bob Yanczewski
Bob Yanczewski

“The girls did well,” said Eastern Florida assistant coach Bob Yanczewski.

“First game they played solid. They hit the ball again and they did their jobs. Second game it was a little longer for us to get there but it took us one person coming off the bench getting that one clutch pinch-hit.

“We congratulated them and told them they were in the state tournament. They can relax a little bit but next week is a big doubleheader at Indian River.

“We’re still involved in the conference. We’re not going to lay over for anyone. We never do. We never will.”

Eastern Florida wraps up its conference schedule on April 11 at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce.

The Titans have a shot at finishing third. Palm Beach State began the day at 7-7.

Softball’s streak of 11 straight postseason appearances is second only to golf’s 12 straight national tournament appearances at Eastern Florida.