TALLAHASSEE, FL---The Gulf Coast baseball team was unable to stop Tallahassee's winning ways Monday, falling to TCC 2-1 on the Eagles home field.
That marks the 8th straight win for Tallahassee, which hasn't lost since a defeat at Chipola back on March 18th.
The Monday win finishing out a three game sweep of Gulf Coast, taking Tallahassee's record overall to 37-5, and 11-1 in Panhandle Conference play. It's the best 12 game league record ever for the Eagles, who now enjoy a 4.5 game lead over second-place Gulf Coast State (26-13, 5-4 PC) and is 5.5 games clear of third-place Chipola (26-16, 4-5) with eight games remaining in league play.
Gulf Coast now looks ahead to a three game set this week against second place Chipola, starting Wednesday. The Indians now 4-5 in conference play after surviving a 9th inning rally and beating Pensacola 5-4.
As for the Monday game between Gulf Coast and Tallahassee, roughly 48 hours after the end of Saturday's 15-inning marathon, runs were hard to come by on Monday. It didn't help that Tallahassee ace Nick Deckert (7-0) and Gulf Coast State's Joey McCarthy were on point, despite a bit of a shaky start.
Deckert issued a pair of walks in the top of the first. After a force out at second, Trevin Hall's sac-fly scored Kevin Husum to give the Commodores a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half, McCarthy walked leadoff hitter Anthony Torres, who was back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday's game. Torres stole second then scored on Clay Fenwick's single up the middle.
One inning later, Tallahassee plated an unearned run that proved to be the difference in the game.
John Price, Jr., led off the inning with a single then advanced to third when third baseman Tyler Dial's throw was wide at second on the force attempt. With runners on the corners, Matt Bahnick chopped a one-hopper over the head of Dial into left field, scoring Price, Jr.
Deckert and McCarthy took over from there.
Deckert scattered six hits and struck out five before exiting with one out in the eighth. Dan VanSickle, the winning pitcher on Saturday, recorded the final five outs to notch the save. He needed only four pitches to retire the Commodores in order in the ninth.
McCarthy went the distance for Gulf Coast State. He allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out two.
Tallahassee will enjoy a six-day break before returning to play next Monday when it hosts Northwest Florida at 5 p.m.