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Eagles take series opener against Grand Rapids
 March 3, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 3, 2013) - Making his first collegiate start, freshman Nick Baker scattered five hits over 7.2 innings to lead FCSAA No. 4 Tallahassee Community College to a 9-1 win over Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College on Sunday afternoon in game one of a five-game series between the longtime rivals.

The win extended Tallahassee's winning streak to eight games and improved the Eagles' record to 18-3. Grand Rapids, ranked No. 17 in the NJCAA's Division II poll, is off to an 0-5 start on its annual season-opening trip to the Florida Panhandle.

Baker got the call on Sunday for Tallahassee, who was playing its sixth game in as many days and has consecutive doubleheaders scheduled for Monday and Tuesday against Grand Rapids. The Deerfield Beach, Fla., native and Broward College transfer didn't disappoint, pitching into the eighth inning, the longest outing by a Tallahassee starter this season.

Grand Rapids scored its only run in the third inning. While the Raiders could have had a bigger inning, Baker just as easily could have gotten out of the inning unscathed.

After a leadoff single by Joe Loria, Dylan Davis beat out an infield bunt, and both runners advanced a base when third baseman Trent Higginbothem's throw sailed past first baseman Tyler York. Baker retired the next two batters and induced Dylan VanPutten into a ground ball in the hole at short, but Anthony Torres' throw was a half-step late, allowing Loria to score the tying run from third.

Tallahassee answered right back, scoring three runs in its half of the third. Matt Bahnick's two-out single scored Ethan Petrey, who entered the game as a pinch runner for York, who appeared to sustain a hamstring injury while legging out a leadoff double. After Higginbothem was hit by a pitch, Kevin Cruz' two-run single gave the Eagles a 4-1 lead.

Tallahassee added five runs in its final three at-bats to cap the scoring.

Torres, Bahnick and Clay Fenwick had two hits apiece for Tallahassee. Cruz was 1-for-4 with three RBI.

Ethan Bornstein came on for Baker with two outs in the eighth and pitched a scoreless 1.2 innings to lower his ERA to 1.13.

Monday's doubleheader begins at 3 p.m.

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