Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee Community College is making a habit out of late-inning comebacks.
On Sunday, FCSAA No. 1 Tallahassee scored its fourth come-from-behind win in seven Panhandle Conference games, this time defeating Pensacola State College 8-5 in game one of a three-game series with the Pirates.
Tallahassee (32-5) is off to a 6-1 start in PC play and likely solidified its No. 1 FCSAA ranking by completing a 3-1 week that included a series victory over arch-rival Chipola College.
Pensacola State (13-19-1) is still in search of its first PC victory.
Sunday’s comeback seemingly came out of nowhere, with the Eagles trailing 5-4 and down to their last out after Pensacola State’s Toby Thomas retired Matt Bahnick and Tyler York in order to start the ninth.
But Pirates third baseman Ryan Herzon bobbled a grounder off the bat of Anthony Torres and, that quickly, the Eagles had life. After Chad Mabini drew a walk to move the tying run into scoring position, Clay Fenwick brought both runners home on a double to left.
Trent Higginbothem, who grew up in nearby Pace, Fla., followed with a two-run shot to left and just like that, the Eagles led 8-5.
Fenwick and Higginbothem both went 3-for-5 and scored twice. Fenwick drove in two runs while Higginbothem had three RBI.
Ethan Bornstein (2-0), who pitched the final 2.1 innings, earned the win.
Thomas was saddled with the loss after blowing the save in relief of ace Jacob Milliman, who went the first seven innings.
Tallahassee did most of its damage against Milliman in the first, scoring three runs.
With a pair of runners in scoring position, Higginbothem singled up the middle to score Torres with the first run of the game and advance Fenwick to third. Milliman was then charged with a balk to plate Fenwick. A two-out triple by John Price, Jr., brought home Higginbothem to give the Eagles and Taylor Wright a 3-0 lead.
Wright had first-inning problems of his own, however.
Pensacola State got on the board courtesy of Thomas’ leadoff homer. Later in the inning, Hayden Kelly singled to center, scoring Taylor Eads.
Tallahassee got one of the runs back in the third and carried a 4-2 lead into the seventh before the Pirates scored three runs, all with two out.
The series shifts to Tallahassee for Monday’s second game – a 5 p.m. first pitch at Eagle Field.