TAMPA — Brandon and Plant were embroiled in a tight game through six innings Friday. In the top of the seventh the Eagles scored three runs then had to stop a furious Panthers rally to hold on for a 6-5 victory.
"We're 5-0, but are we doing the things we want?" Eagles coach Matt Stallbaumer said. "Are we doing the things that are going to make us better?"
A great throw in the second inning by the Panthers' Shawn Henderson cut down a run at the plate to end an Eagles scoring threat.
In the bottom half of the second, Plant's Joe Hudek walked and reached third on an error. He scored after a fly ball from Steve Gonzalez was dropped.
Brandon got on the board in the fourth. James Ramsey led off with a single, followed by a Spencer Haynes walk then a single by Adam Sass loaded the bases. Chris Toney's two-run double gave Brandon a 2-1 lead.
The Panthers came right back. Hudek reached on a double and scored on a passed ball.
"As a pitcher, when you score runs you have to put up a zero the next inning," Stallbaumer said. "We put two up and let them back in it."
Brandon added another run in the fifth as Lenin Sanchez walked and scored on a single by Ramsey to take a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles broke open the game in the seventh. Ramsey and Derek Dungan reached on walks. After Haynes was hit by a pitch, Roderick Shoulders smoked a two-run single. Haynes scored what would be the deciding run on Plant's fifth error.
"Anytime you make errors and mistakes it's bad," Plant coach Dennis Braun said. "We're young and I like this team a lot. We need a little time."
Plant rallied with one out in the seventh. Kyle Woodford and Dylan Henderson singled. Stan Rowe hit a two-run double, scoring Woodford and Henderson with two outs. Mike Demo singled and Hudek singled in Rowe to make it 6-5. Then Chase Sparkman struck out Tanner Anderson to end the game.