TCC Baseball Falls to Chipola

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Tallahassee - Chipola College hit three home runs, accounting for all of its runs, in a 5-2 victory over Tallahassee Community College on Saturday afternoon in Panhandle Conference baseball action.

The Eagles (34-14) are now one game behind Northwest Florida State College in the battle for third place in the PC standings. With just five games remaining in the regular season, Tallahassee's conference record stands at 6-9. The Raiders, who have seven games left and beat Pensacola State College on Saturday, 14-4, are 6-7.

Each of Chipola's home runs came with two outs, beginning with Ian Rice's two-run shot to left in the first off Tallahassee starter and losing pitcher Will Thompson.

Despite allowing the homer, Thompson, still in the early stages of a comeback from Tommy John surgery, looked sharp, shutting out the Indians and allowing only one hit over his final three innings.

Ryan Deckert came on in the fifth and promptly retired the first five batters he faced. But, with the wind blowing out, Josh Merrigan smacked a home run to almost straightaway center and following a walk, Bert Givens took one over the left field fence to extend the Indians' lead to 5-1 through 5.5 innings.

Tallahassee scored its first run of the day on Christian Dicks' solo homer in the third.

In the eighth, Dicks scored on Quincy Nieporte's single to pull the Eagles within 5-2.

Things got even more interesting in the ninth.

Chipola starter and winning pitcher Tom Watson issued a leadoff walk to Ryne Willard and an errant throw on a fielder's choice brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out. It also signaled the end of Watson's day after eight-plus innings.

Reliever Palmer Betts retired the first two batters he faced but walked Johnny Blue Craig to bring the winning run to the plate.

Chipola then called on Michael Mader for a rare relief appearance and he retired Dicks on a fly out to right to end the game.

Dicks finished 3-for-4. Nieporte was 2-for-4.

The teams will play for the final time at 6 p.m. Monday in Marianna.

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