The Manatee Community College baseball team climbed out of a six-run hole to defeat Pensacola Junior College 13-9 in the second round of the state Juco baseball tournament at Chain of Lakes Park on Saturday.
With the win, the Lancers play Chipola College at 7 p.m. Sunday.
In the sixth inning, with the Lancers trailing the Pirates 8-3, Jonathan Rodriguez’s bases-loaded walk started a four-run rally Bobby Haney capped with a two-run single to left field that narrowed MCC's deficit to 8-7.
Pensacola JC (42-7), ranked No.1 in the nation, added a run in the seventh.
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In the top of ninth, the Lancers scored five runs to seal the victory and advance to the third round of the double-elimination tournament.
Manatee High grad Josh Strawn pitched three innings for the win. The game, which started at 9:06 p.m. - more than two hours after its original scheduled starting time - was delayed another 53 minutes because a water pipe behind the pitcher's mound broke. The game lasted five hours.
On consecutive nights, the Lancers defeated Miami-Dade College, ranked second in the state, and the Pirates, the top-ranked team in the country.
“These guys fought hard,” Lancers coach Tim Hill said. “We kept telling them it's nine innings. The identity of our team is not to give up, and we didn’t.”