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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2014
Baseball Opens 2014 Season With Win Over Lions
Senior Jorge Chavarria went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs in the Panthers 6-5 win over UNA. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
Senior Jorge Chavarria went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs in the Panthers 6-5 win over UNA. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Baseball)— The Florida Tech Panthers opened the season Saturday night when they hosted the Lions of North Alabama. The Panthers came from behind, and opened the season with a 6-5 victory over the Lions.

The Panthers (1-0) were first on the board when they plated two runs in the bottom of the first. Senior Jorge Chavarria doubled to left-center, which scored senior Andrew Bartlett from second. Freshman Grant McKown then brought Chavarria home later in the inning with a base hit up the middle.

Trailing by two runs, the Lions responded and took the lead in the second inning. Payton Thomas was walked with the bases loaded, which brought home Tyler Hall for the first UNA run of the game. Bradley Noland scored later in the inning when Jake Ward hit into a fielder’s choice. The Lions took the lead when Brett Guzay hit into a fielder’s choice which had Ward caught in a rundown, but Jake Smith was able to score before Ward was tagged out.

The Lions (0-1) added to their lead in the fifth inning. With two runners on base, Hall doubled to left bringing home Kyle Conkle. Noland then brought Dylan Boston home with a sacrifice fly to center field. The runs put the Lions up 5-2.

The Panthers got back into the game with a run in the fifth inning. McKown brought Chavarria home with a sacrifice fly to right field. Trailing by two in the sixth, the Panthers broke through with three runs. Chavarria doubled to right field, which scored Bartlett. Sophomore Austin Allen then doubled to left-center which scored Chavarria. Senior Jimmie Koch then sent a double into center field, which scored Allen, and gave the Panthers the lead at 6-5.

The Panthers were able to shut the Lions out over the next three innings, and earned the 6-5 victory. Chavarria finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Panthers. McKown also added two RBIs in the game.

Sophomore Michael Knott (1-0) pitched three innings in relief for the Panthers and earned the win. Knott tossed three scoreless innings, gave up one hit, and struck out two. Junior Ashton Fronsoe pitched the ninth inning and earned his first save. Junior Jerrod Leinhauser started the game for the Panthers and pitched five innings in a no decision.

Conkle (0-1) suffered the Loss for the Lions. Conkle threw three innings in relief of starter Cade Medley. He gave up three runs with two being earned, walked two, and struck out two.

The Panthers and Lions will conclude the series Sunday morning with a pair of 7-inning contests. Play will begin at 10 a.m. ET. and you can follow the action live at FloridaTechSports.com/live.
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