TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 19, 2017) – Josh Nothdorft's single through a drawn in infield scored Jordan Curtis to give Tallahassee Community College an 8-7, come-from-behind, 12-inning win over Pensacola State College on Wednesday.
With the win, Tallahassee (26-22) evened its conference record at 11-11 and kept pace with second-place Northwest Florida State College (11-9) in the race for the Panhandle's runners-up berth in the NJCAA District/FCSAA State Tournament. Tallahassee and Northwest Florida State will close the regular season with a two-game series next Monday and Wednesday.
The Eagles also opened up a one-game lead over fourth-place Gulf Coast State College (9-11), who was idle on Wednesday and opens a two-game set with conference champion Chipola College on Friday.
Tallahassee needed only two batters in the 12th to claim the marathon victory.
Leadoff hitter Jordan Curtis reached on an error then, with Nothdorft in the batter's box, advanced to third when Aaron Ginn's pickoff attempt sailed high at first. Nothdorft wasted little time, shooting Ginn's 1-1 pitch into left field to bring Curtis home with the game-winning run.
All 13 of Tallahassee's hits were singles.
The Eagles needed two earlier comebacks just to survive and advance to the 12th.
Pensacola State jumped out to a 4-0 lead on two-run homers by Malique Forman and Richard Sorrenti in the second and third innings, respectively. Meanwhile, Pirates lefty Alex Tyson was cruising and carried a shutout into the seventh before running into some trouble.
Tucker Rayburn reached on an error to lead off the Tallahassee seventh and scored, two batters later, on Myron Mebane's single, which ended the day for Tyson. Following a hit-batsman, Mebane advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk to cut the Pirates' lead in half.
With the tying runs in scoring position, Nothdorft popped up to short to end the threat – the first two of 11 runners left on base over the final six innings.
Tallahassee stranded 15 for the game.
The Eagles continued to chip away in the eighth. Mebane's sac-fly scored Vann but the inning ended with the tying run 90 feet away.
Tallahassee was down to its final out in the ninth after Bryce Plummer struck out and Curtis lined out to second to start the inning. Nothdorft, however, extended the game with a single to right and, after Tanner Thomas drew a walk, scored when Vann's blooper dropped safely in shallow right.
This time, the inning ended with the winning run stranded at third.
After a scoreless tenth, Pensacola State regained the lead in the 11th. With runners on the corners and one out, Drake Cabe hit a one-hopper to shortstop Deyvid Silva for what looked like an inning-ending double play. Silva, however, bobbled the ball, allowing Foreman to score, opening the door for what became a three-run inning and a 7-4 lead for the Pirates.
Tallahassee needed only two hits in the bottom of the 11th to tie the game.
Curtis singled to left, and Nothdorft bunted his way on to put the Eagles in business. A walk to Thomas loaded the bases then Ginn hit Vann and walked Rayburn with the bases loaded to plate the first two runs of the inning.
With the bases still loaded and nobody out, the next three batters couldn't get the ball out of the infield against Ginn, though Silva's ground out to second scored Thomas with the tying run.
Derick Garcia (5-1), the last of four Tallahassee pitchers, picked up the win in relief. He went the final 2.2 innings and was charged with three runs, though only one was earned.
Nick Marchese started and allowed seven hits and four runs over four innings. Brooks Buckler (2.0 innings) and Octavio Marin (3.1 innings) combined for 5.1 shutout innings before Garcia entered with one out in the tenth.
Tallahassee will have the bye on Friday and Saturday while Northwest Florida State plays Pensacola State, in addition to the Gulf Coast State-Chipola showdown.