Norse routed 12-1

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — The Bay Norse baseball team dropped its fourth consecutive decision to start the year here Monday, falling to Palm Beach State 12-1.

The Norse struck first on an RBI single by Justin Popleka to open up a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Ray Sanchez led off the bottom of the first for the Panthers (14-9) with a deep home run to right field, and they tacked on three more runs to lead 4-1 at the end of the first.

Thirteen straight Norse batters were retired after the Popelka single in the first, as the Norse didn’t threaten again until the seventh.

The Panthers put the game out of reach in their half of the seventh. Norse starting pitcher Logan Bailey got the first two outs of the inning before Palm Beach State racked up six hits in a row to add five runs. They added one more in the eighth on defensive miscues by the Norse that ended the game.

Bailey took the loss, despite pitching well for most of the afternoon. He allowed eight earned runs, struck out three and walked no one in seven innings of work.

“Obviously the score is not what we wanted this afternoon,” said coach Mike Pankow. “I am not a ‘moral victory’ type of person, but our guys have not been playing like themselves until now. It seemed as though the beginning of the season jitters have worn off today and the guys played relaxed, and it resulted in the best baseball we have played so far. Logan was fantastic today, he just faced a good group of hitters one too many times through the lineup today, and unfortunately his final line does not show what he did today. Overall we played well for six and a half innings against a team that has 20 plus games under their belt. We had a lot of ‘at ’em balls’ today. We will find holes if we keep finding barrels like we did today.”

Bay faces Western Connecticut State at 1:30 p.m. today and Earlham College at 4:30. Both games are in Fort Pierce, Fla.