PALM BEACH- The College of Central Florida baseball team had its chances against Palm Beach State in its regular season opener, but couldn't come up with the big hit.
The Patriots (0-1) left the bases loaded in the first inning and stranded eight runners on the day in a tough 3-1 loss to Palm Beach State.
CF got consecutive one-out singles from Christian Khawam, Justin Ambrosino and Ben Ellzey in the first inning, but Palm Beach starter Anthony Delaney recorded two straight strikeouts to escape the jam.
The Patriots fell behind 1-0 in the second, before the Panthers extended their lead to 3-0 with two more runs in the fifth.
CF battled back with consecutive hits by Khawam and Ambrosino to make a rally in the eighth appear possible, but a key double play thwarted the attempt. Still, the Patriots got on the board when Colby Brown singled in Khawam for their only run of the game.
CF finished the game with eight hits, but struggled to open things up when given the opportunity.
A trio of Palm Beach pitchers combined to fan nine CF hitters, led by Delaney, who struck out six and allowed five hits in four scoreless innings of work.
Ambrosino (3-for-4), Khawam (2-for-3, run scored), Brown (1-for-4, RBI), Ellzey (1-for-4) and Luke Heyer (1-for-4) led CF at the plate.
David Lebron started for CF and allowed three runs on six hits in six innings of work. Lebron walked one and fanned three.
Travis Richardson finished up for the Patriots with two scoreless innings in relief.
CF will return to action on Saturday with a doubleheader on the road against Indian River State. The games are set for noon and 3 p.m. Live stats will be available for both games. CLICK HERE to follow the action.