Tallahassee, FL - FCSAA No. 2 Tallahassee Community College erased a 7-2 deficit and defeated Shelton State (Ala.) Community College, 11-8, on Saturday afternoon at Eagle Field.
The win kept Tallahassee's perfect record intact and put the 11-0 Eagles in position to match their best start since 2002 with a win on Sunday. Head coach Mike McLeod heads to Sunday's series finale one win shy of 800 in his NJCAA coaching career.
Down 7-2, Tallahassee erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth, despite having only two hits in the inning. Shelton State aided the Eagles' cause by committing two errors and the Buccaneers' pitchers walked two batters, hit three others and uncorked a wild pitch.
After tying the game at 7-all, Tallahassee took its first lead of the game when Ryne Willard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing home Johnny Blue Craig from third. A wild pitch allowed Matt Olive to trot home and complete the rally.
Shelton State got a run back in the sixth but the Eagles added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth.
The Buccaneers' fifth error of the game led to Tallahassee's final run. After Bobby Rice drew a leadoff walk to start the eighth, Quincy Nieporte reached base when third baseman Blake Smith mishandled a grounder. Smith compounded his mistake with a wild throw at first, allowing Rice to come all the way around and score.
Nieporte was the only Eagle with multiple hits on Saturday. He was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Willard and Olive also drove in two runs apiece.
Connor O'Brien, who held Shelton State hitless over the final 3.2 innings, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to save the game for Kyle Pausche, who pitched 1.1 innings in relief of starter Shaun Herbert and picked up the win.
Sunday's first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.