TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 2, 2012) - Northwest Florida State College completed a three-game sweep of No. 8 Tallahassee Community College on Monday afternoon, defeating the Eagles, 2-0, at Eagle Field.
Northwest Florida State (23-13), the first team to hit the unofficial halfway point of the Panhandle Conference schedule, has won four straight games and sits at 8-4 in league play. Tallahassee (28-13) has lost a season-high three in a row to fall to 4-5 in the PC.
Pitching ruled the day on Monday, as both sides managed only six hits.
Tallahassee starter Daniel VanSickle carried a no-hitter into the fifth before the Raiders' Dylan Boston singled with one out. An inning later, Northwest Florida State strung together three hits, the last a two-out double by Nick Masonia that scored Blake Bearden and Conner Kendrick.
That was the only offense the Raiders could muster against VanSickle and reliever Hayden Jordan, who allowed only one hit and struck out four over the final 2.2 innings.
VanSickle (3-2), who beat Chipola College last Wednesday, delivered a second straight quality start but took the loss. He allowed five hits and walked only one in 6.1 innings.
Tallahassee had at least one base runner in each of the first six innings but could not break through. The Eagles stranded 11 men on base and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Northwest Florida State starter and winner Patrick McGavin (3-2) pitched into the sixth but gave up a leadoff single to Trent Higginbothem and walked Graham Saiko to put the tying runs on base.
Reliever Austin Sullivan came on and pitched the Raiders out of trouble to preserve the shutout, although Tallahassee eventually loaded the bases before Nick Graganella grounded out to short to end the innings. That was Tallahassee's last scoring opportunity before the tying run reached base with two outs in the ninth against Raiders closer Matthew Howard.
After yielding a leadoff single to Matt Heckroth and hitting Anthony Torres with two outs, Howard got Steven Brown to pop out in foul territory to end the game.
The save was the seventh on the season for Howard. Sullivan didn't factor into the decision but held the Eagles hitless over three innings of relief work.
Masonia was the only player on either side with more than one hit. He was 2-for-4 and drove in both runs.