There was no shortage of offense when the Tigers squared off with Southeastern Community College on April 3. The Tigers hosted the Blackhawks for a single nine inning contest.
David Davilla got the nod for the Tigers and faced off with Jake Bockenstedt of the Blackhawks. Davilla cruised in the first inning outside of surrendering a one-out double to Devin Buckner.
Bockenstedt also threw a scoreless first while giving up a single to Candido Encarnacion.
The second inning did not fare as well for Davilla. The sophomore induced a 6-3 groundout by Dayson Croes to start the inning, but quickly went downhill from there. Davilla hit the next batter and walked Granklin Aparcio on four pitches to put runners on first and second with one out. Gavin Logan singled in the first run of the game and the nine hitter, Nick Boone followed up with a single through the infield. Two more singles and a triple ended Davilla's day as he lasted just 1.33 innings while being responsible for seven earned runs.
The short-staffed Tigers turned to Raymond Collazo out of the bullpen. Collazo gave up a double to the first batter he saw and things didn't get any better for the freshman out of Puerto Rico. Collazo registered only one out while surrendering eight runs on six hits, one walk, and one hit batter.
Jimmy Kurka came in to relieve Collazo. Upon entering, Kurka retired the first batter he faced to end the away half of the second inning. But the damage was done as the Blackhawks scored 15 runs to take a commanding 15-0 lead.
The Tigers were up for the challenge though and showed it. Luis Menendez led off the bottom of the second with a solo shot to left center field. Bockenstedt then struck out Travon Hughes and Nick Hagen consecutively and got Reece Blay to ground out 1-3 to end the inning. After two complete, the Tigers trailed 15-1.
Kurka remained in the game and worked a clean third inning to hold the Blackhawks at 15.
With the 14 run lead, the Blackhawks tried to get extended innings out of their bullpen. In the third inning, the visitors turned to Ben Friebel.
The move to the pen for the Blackhawks combined with solid pitching by Kurka allowed the Tigers to chip away at the lead.
One Blackhawk run scored after reaching on an error in the fourth to extend the lead back to 13 and the Tigers went scoreless in their half.
Things got interesting in the fifth after Kurka worked a scoreless top half of the inning. Friebel struggled with his location and the defense didn't help him out. Josten led the inning off with a walk followed by Tyler Coleman getting plunked to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Candid Encarnacion doubled in both runners and ended up on third after an error on the relay. Eli Berggeron then reached on the second consecutive Blackhawk error and that also allowed Encarnacion to score from third.
Three runs had scored before Friebel got his first out of the inning via a Menendez strikeout. After the K, the Tigers were right back on the offensive as Trayvon Hughes singled before Joel Torrealba blasted a no-doubt three run shot to left-center. The shot brought the score to 16-9.
Up by seven, the Blackhawks again made the call to the bullpen, this time to Nick Garcia. Garcia entered and immediately struck out Reece Blay. Julio Sanchez singled to keep hope of extending the rally alive, but Garcia bounced back to strikeout Josten to end the inning.
Diego Almonte entered in relief of Kurka for the sixth inning and gave up three runs to extend the lead back to ten headed into the home half of the sixth.
Coleman led off the sixth for the Tigers and reached base after being hit by a pitch for the second time in the contest. The freshman stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball, but the Tigers couldn't plate him as Encarnacion struck out looking, Berggeron popped up to the pitcher, and Menendez was caught looking for his second strikeout of the game.
Ryan Carter took the mound for the Tigers in the top of the seventh. It was the sophomore's first pitching appearance of the year. Carter surrendered just one hit in the frame and left the Tigers clinging to hope of extending the game.
It wasn't meant to be in the bottom of the seventh as after a Travon Hughes singled to lead off the inning, Torrealba hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Garcia ended the game via run rule by striking out Blay.