TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 3, 2018) – Tallahassee Community College won its third straight game on Tuesday, defeating Northwest Florida State College, 7-2, in game one of the teams' four game series.
Tallahassee (28-14, 6-7 Panhandle Conference) took over sole possession of third place in the league standings with the win, one game ahead of Northwest Florida State (24-15, 5-8). And coupled with Chipola College's 10-5 win over Gulf Coast State College, the Eagles moved within one game of the second-place Commodores (7-6 PC).
A five-run fifth inning broke a 2-all tie and proved to be the difference for Tallahassee on Tuesday. Justin Sorokowski and two relievers did the rest for the Eagles.
After allowing a first-inning run, Sorokowski (2-0) retired the next ten batters and led 2-1 before issuing a leadoff walk to Cole Halfacre in the fourth. Halfacre eventually scored to tie the game, but Sorokowski buckled down and prevented further damage, thanks in large part to his own defensive prowess.
With runners on first and third and one out, the Raiders called for the squeeze play but Sorokowski fielded Broyles' bunt and threw out Leo Horacio at home to keep the score knotted at two. He struck out Kaden Polcovich to end the inning, one of Sorokowski's six strikeout victims.
Sorokowski moved into position for the win following the fifth-inning rally but handed things to his bullpen following a leadoff walk and one-out single in the sixth.
Tyler Lehrmann eventually walked the bases loaded but struck out Horacio and retired Grant Stewart on a fielder's choice to get out of the jam. That proved to be the Raiders' last serious scoring threat.
Lehrmann went 2.2 innings and Jake Kinney retired the side in order in the ninth, striking out Thomas Broyles to end the game for Tallahassee's 10th strikeout of the game – the 19th time it has reached double-digit strikeouts this season.
After Northwest Florida State tied the game in the top of the fifth, Tallahassee sent ten men to the plate in the bottom half.
The Eagles had five hits in the inning but an error by third baseman Lee Musgraves, one of seven Raider miscues on the night, set things in motion. Singles by Tucker Rayburn and Luke Ard loaded the bases then a passed ball scored Logan Lacey from third with the go-ahead run.
Trey Polewski followed with a single to right-center to score Rayburn and knock out Northwest Florida State starter Thomas Farr.
Mason Miller bunted his way on to score Ard then, following the Raiders' second error of the inning, Tanner Thomas, who earlier hit into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded, got a second opportunity with the bags full of Eagles.
Thomas came through this time, singling to center to score Polewski and Miller to give Tallahassee a 7-2 lead.
Rayburn led Tallahassee's 12-hit attack, going 3-for-4. Miller was 2-for-3 and scored twice. Jayson Sowden went 2-for-4.
Game two of the series is back at Eagle Field at 5 p.m. Thursday.