News-Sun file photo by DAN HOEHNE Despite Friday's loss at Polk State College, Lucas Bagnara and the South Florida Panthers are fresh off a four-game win streak that has renewed their outlook.
published: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Panther streak stopped at Polk
By DAN HOEHNE
It has been a rough and tumble season for the 2013 Baseball Panthers of SFSC, but things had been looking up recently before Friday's 6-5 loss at Polk State College.
Sitting on a 5-24 record, 0-5 in the Suncoast Conference, after a March 6 loss to Hillsborough, the team got itself on a bit of a roll.
The Panthers earned their first conference win on Friday, March 8, taking a 2-0 win at Hillsborough to salvage one game of the three-game series, and then swept a doubleheader the following day over the University of Tampa's Junior Varsity squad.
Justin Machado pitched effectively in the 3-1, opening game win and Kevin Schubert followed it up with a one-run performance of his own.
Carlos Matamoros had two hits and two RBI, while Josh Townsend went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored in the 5-1, nightcap win.
Four days later, SFSC made it four in a row with an 8-4 win over Lincolnland Community College (IL) on Wednesday, March 13.
Submariner Zach Bailey got the win on the mound and Matamoros again rapped out two hits and scored twice.
Former Blue Streak Seth Abeln also added two base knocks, scoring once, and Jordan Rivera had two RBI on the day.
Revitalized by their good play of late, the Panthers headed to Winter Haven to face a top-notch Eagle team that came in with a 23-6 record overall.
"We played a lot better and had the lead late in the game," sophomore infielder Lucas Bagnara said. "We were hitting better and had less errors. With how we've been playing lately, we are feeling it."
A combination of bad luck, timely hitting and questionable calls, however, allowed Polk to grab the win late.
But with the recent streak reminding them of how they need to play to win, and Friday's performance confirming it, the Panther attitude may well be on the right track.
"We're playing better and should have gotten this win," Bagnara said. "We've got this series. I can feel it."
The Eagles were in town for the second game of the three-game series Saturday afternoon before South Florida heads back to Winter Haven Monday night for the series finale.
Questionable calls (by: Janet Hardy - 3/17/2013)
"Questionable calls" were the right words. Four to be exact. The Panthers were a team of nine playing against a team of 11. Just be fair and let the boys play!!!!
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