Florida Tech Panthers Sports Roundup

By  //  March 18, 2014

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Panthers Overcome Challenging Conditions in Second Race of Season

Florida Tech and Assumption were forced to change their racing strategies after encountering challenging conditions last weekend at Canal 54 and strong winds and hydrilla in the canal resulted in the format changing from side by side racing to head races.

Beatriz Saldana

Beatriz Saldana

All three of FIT’s boats performed well despite the rough conditions.

An ‘A’ boat that included coxswain Beatriz Saldana, stroke Jordan Ursch, Taylor Troy,Jessica Bunting and bow Anastasia Stodolski had the fastest time in the varsity four event at 8:42.

Adam Thorstad

Adam Thorstad

A ‘B’ boat comprised of freshman and novices had the second-fastest time at 9:53.

Powering the boat were coxswain Brigitte Bonaci, stroke Caitlyn Lightner, Jessica Weatherman, Alexis Goodie and bow Tania Kilcullen.

“Both fours rowed very well,” head coach Adam Thorstad said. “I was very happy especially with the ‘B’ boat, which had two rowers that started rowing a couple weeks before spring break.”

Sam McCuskey

Sam McCuskey

FIT’s varsity eight then finished at a time of 8:06 to win its event. Racing for the Panthers were coxswain Sam McCuskey, stroke Morgan Billig, Kristi Hicks, Corine Roberts, Natalie Miller, Suzanne Beims, Abbie Stehno, Caitlin Wood and bow Hannah Santa Lucia.

“I was really happy with how the eight rowed today,” Thorstad said. “We tell them all the time to be ready for plan B. Today, we got the job done and performed really well. They made some good changes technically this week.”

The Panthers will now prepare for the Governor’s Cup next Saturday, March 22 at Canal 54. The race marks the team’s last home race of the season.

Panthers Hold Off Triton Rally and Pick Up SSC Win

The No. 6 Florida Tech Panthers stepped back into Sunshine State Conference play this weekend, as they opened a three-game series against Eckerd at Seminick-Hall Field and in a back-and-forth game, the Panthers were able to grab and hold onto a late lead for a 6-4 victory.

Sophomore Austin Allen hit his fifth home run of the season, and the Panthers defeated Eckerd 6-4. (Florida Tech image)

Sophomore Austin Allen hit his fifth home run of the season, and the Panthers defeated Eckerd 6-4. (Florida Tech image)

Eckerd (12-6, 2-2 SSC) was first on the board with two runs in the top of the first. Chris Hanson and Carter Cashman both recorded RBIs in the inning.

Trailing by a run, the Panthers answered with a run in the bottom half of the first. Freshman Grant McKown brought home senior Andrew Bartlett with a base hit up the middle.

Grant McKown

Grant McKown

The Panthers (17-6, 2-2 SSC) came back in the fourth inning, and tied the game at two. Senior Ray Maggi doubled down the left field line, and brought home fellow senior Dan Bodziak.

The Tritons responded in the fifth with a run of their own. Mike Abraham picked up an RBI with a base hit into center field.

Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett

The Panthers were not down long, as sophomore Austin Allen tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run over the fence in right-center. The homer was the fifth of the season for Allen.

Austin Allen

Austin Allen

The Panthers seemed to take control of the game with a run in the seventh, and two more in the eighth. Bartlett brought home the two runs in the eighth with a double to the fence in left-center.

Jerrod Leinhauser

Jerrod Leinhauser

Trailing by three and down to its final three outs, Eckerd tried to make one last charge in the ninth. Abraham recorded another RBI with a single through the left side that scored Grant Banko. The Tritons had the bases loaded with only one out, but the Panthers were able to strand the runners and earned the 6-4 victory.

Ashton Fronsoe

Ashton Fronsoe

Junior Jerrod Leinhauser (2-2) picked up the win for the Panthers. Leinhauser pitched three innings out of the bullpen. He allowed one run on five hits and struck out three. Junior Ashton Fronsoe started the game for the Panthers and pitched six innings. He allowed three runs on nine hits, did not walk a batter and struck out two.

Taylor Owens (0-2) suffered the loss for the Tritons. Owens pitched two innings out of the bullpen, and gave up one run on two hits.

The Panthers and Tritons will continue the series Saturday with a doubleheader. Game one gets underway at 12 p.m. ET with game two beginning 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opening game. Live stats and audio will be available for both games at FloridaTechSports.com. 


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