Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications

Office:  321-433-5700, 321-759-4540 (C)

BCC Beats Palm Beach State 5-3 to Improve Conference Standing

March 26, 2013 - With the game on the line T.J. Glessner gambled.

With Tuesday's Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference game against visiting Palm Beach State College tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth and with the bases loaded and with two outs Glessner took a chance on his own . . . and succeeded.

Glessner laid down a perfect squeeze bunt beating the throw to first base and scoring Roman Restrepo from third with the go-ahead run in what turned out to be a 5-3 BCC victory.

The win improved BCC's conference record to 6-7, tying it with Palm Beach for third place with 11 games remaining. BCC improved to 18-15-1 overall while Palm Beach fell to 24-13.

Broward College entered Tuesday with a 6-6 record moving into second place behind Miami Dade which is 11-2 in the conference and which visits BCC and Bruce Bochy Field on the Melbourne Campus for a crucial two-game set at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

BCC visits Palm Beach at 5 p.m. Wednesday as it continues its drive for a spot in the postseason playoffs that determines the Southern Conference's second entrant into the state tournament.

The first-place conference team advances automatically while the third- and fourth-place teams hold a one-game playoff to determine who meets the second-place team. The winner of the subsequent best two-of-out-three playoff earns the second state berth.

But that is a ways away. On Tuesday BCC head coach Jeff Tam and his team enjoyed the positive result in which several players had a hand.

Leadoff hitter and shortstop Chris Dennis, who came into Tuesday ranked third nationally in NJCAA Division I in hits with 56, went 3-for-4 with a home run and made several sparkling defensive plays; Glessner had two bunt singles, walked and scored a run; Matt Harris and Chad Searcy had two hits apiece while Chris Torres drove in Glessner with a sacrifice fly. Designated hitter David King had two sacrifice bunts.

Starting pitcher Ashton Fronsoe went six innings allowing two runs on five hits; Jon Piriz picked up the victory and Chris Gilmore pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

It was a tight game decided on a tight play.

"We're always aware of T.J.'s bunting capabilities," Tam said. "He is a phenomenal bunter."

As for the victory: "We are very happy with the outcome," Tam said. "Anytime you can beat Palm Beach, Dade, Broward, Indian River, obviously a conference game, that's a huge plus for us. We still made mistakes but at the end of the day we won and that's what matters right now."

As for Dennis' night: "The kid is a pure hitter," Tam said. "I never have any issues when he is as the plate. Succeed or fail."

Glessner certainly succeeded.

"I just saw the situation . . . the guys were playing back," Glessner said. "I thought the bunt was the right thing for the situation. I try to bunt whenever I can, whenever they're playing back."

Speaking of playing back, Dennis had Palm Beach on its heels but he believes his team is capable of much more.

"Honestly, we needed to win at home, especially in conference," Dennis said. "I think it's a good step in the right direction. I feel like we've always had the talent. It's just kind of hard for us to put it together. I honestly don't think we're there yet. We're getting closer."