Lake Worth, FL -- The Panthers' Baseball team rallied in extra innings to defeat conference-rival Miami Dade on a walk-off fielder's choice, 8-7 in 10 innings.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Jisjar Clotida singled, advanced to 2nd on a groundout, and scored when Mason Doolittle hit a line drive single just over the head of a leaping 2nd baseman to extend the Panther lead to 2-0.
Starter Tom Green ran in to a bit of trouble for the first time in the game in the top half of the next inning. 5 runs on 5 hits, 2 errors, and 2 hit-by-pitches allowed Miami Dade to take the lead 5-2. Michael Demo would come on in relief of Green, retiring 2-3 batters he faced to end the inning.
The Panthers would storm back in the bottom of the inning, scoring 5 runs of their own. Ray Sanchez led off the inning with a solo home run to right field on a ball that looked like it was about to be caught. Joe Smith would double, Gabriel Marinez walked, and Jefry Encarnacion singled on a beautifully placed bunt to the catcher to load the bases. Jisjar Clotida singled scoring 2 runners to tie the game at 5. The next batter, Noah Orlando, would walk bringing to the plate Mason Doolittle. Two wild pitches in the at-bat by Doolittle would score 2 additional runs, extending the Panthers' lead to 7-5.
Michael Demo would strike out the side in the 5th and strike out 2 additional batters in the 6th. However, a walk and a bad hop on a groundball led to a run for Miami Dade. The Panthers still maintained the lead 7-6.
Demo would cruise through the 7th but ran into some trouble with 2 outs in the 8th. A single and a walk set the stage for reliever Niko Leontarakis to record the final out of the inning. Leontarakis walked the first batter he faced, which loaded the bases, and walked the next batter to allow Miami Dade to tie the score at 7. Shelby Frazier would come on in relief of Leontarakis and coaxed a lazy fly ball to left fielder Gabriel Marinez to end the threat.
Flash forward to the bottom of the 9th, Noah Orlando singled and Mason Doolittle crushed a fly ball to deep center field. The ruling on the field was a catch, which was argued by several in the Palm Beach dugout. Nonetheless, Orlando thought he saw the ball drop and was doubled off 1st to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 10th, Andrew Martinez led off the inning with a double to left-center. The stage was set for the winning run to score. Joe Smith reached on an error by the third baseman and Andrew Martinez advanced to 3rd on a very close play at the- bag. Gabriel Marinez came to the dish and hit a ball just slow enough that Miami Dade could not turn the double-play. Marinez clearly beat the throw at first and Martinez crossed the dish to end the game with a final score of 8-7.
Shelby Frazier picked up his 2nd win of the season throwing 2.1 shutout innings in relief. Demo and Frazier combined to limit Miami Dade to just 2 runs over 6.2 innings of relief.
The Panthers' conference record improves to 5-5 and their overall record now stands at 16-11. The team will travel to Kendall, FL on Friday, at 3:00, to take on Miami Dade for the 2nd game in the 3-game series.
Follow us on social media!