MELBOURNE, Fla. - The last at bat proved to be the difference for the victors in both games of the Saturday afternoon baseball doubleheader between Georgia Southwestern and 16th-ranked Florida Tech at Seminick-Hall Field. FIT scored a run in the eighth inning of Game 1 to win the opener 4-3 and GSW answered with a three-run seventh inning in the nightcap to win 7-5.
The Hurricanes have won three of their last four games and improve to 10-20 overall. Florida Tech drops to 20-9.
GSW returns home for a 5 p.m. non-conference game on Wednesday against West Georgia.
GAME 1: GSW 3, #16 FLORIDA TECH 4
The Hurricanes scored the first runs of the afternoon when they put two on the board in the second behind four hits. Stephen Eldridge, Michel Coffey and Kyle Nobles opened the inning with three-consecutive singles. Coffey and Nobles eventually scored on a Tech throwing error.
FIT cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second with a run.
Eldridge pushed the GSW advantage back to two runs in the fifth inning with his team-leading third home run of the season.
Once again Tech answered in the bottom half of the inning, this time tying the game on the aid of two costly GSW errors.
Austin Allen belted the game-winning home run in the eighth after GSW pitcher Frank Ambrosino had struck out the prior two battters to start the inning.
Ambrosino (0-5) took the loss in relief for GSW. Ambrosino pitched two innings, allowed two hits and the decisive run while walking one and striking out four. GSW starter Justin Lott threw the opening six frames. He held the Panthers to one earned run, walked one and struck out seven.
Tech closer James Mannara (4-2) kept the Hurricanes scoreless over the final 1 1/3 innings for the victory.
Allen had a three-hit performance for the Panthers. Alex Alfonso collected a pair of hits.
GSW collected six more hits than Tech (12-6) in a losing effort and stranded three more men on base (10-7).
GAME 2: GSW 7, #16 FLORIDA TECH 5
A three-run rally in the seventh inning propelled the Hurricanes to victory in the nightcap.
As they did in Game 1, GSW jumped out to a 2-0 lead. In Game 2 the opening runs came in the third inning. Eldridge doubled to left-center field to bring home Coffey and Kevin Manos.
Mirroring the opener, when GSW scored, FIT answered in its next at bat. The Panthers scored three runs in the third inning of Game 2.
Right back the Hurricanes came, pushing across two more runs in the fourth inning to regain the lead when Chase Young smacked his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left, to make the score 4-3.
FIT plated a run in the fourth and another in the fifth to take a one-run advantage, 5-4, to the seventh - and final - inning of Game 2.
In the Hurricanes final at bat, Sanders opened with a single and Duran followed with a double. Both men eventually scored on a throwing error by Tech. Eldridge, who was intentionally walked four batters earlier, scored the game-winner on a fielding error by FIT.
Mannara (4-3) was tagged with the loss.
Sanders and Logan Holland collected two hits apiece to the lead the Hurricanes. Eldridge and Young collected two RBIs apiece.
Allen had three hits for Tech. Tyler Doughty and Ray Maggi added two hits apiece.
Both teams tallied nine hits. Tech left nine men on base; GSW stranded seven runners.