Florida Tech Breaks Out The Brooms, Sweeps Rollins
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // March 22, 2015
'It’s never easy to sweep'
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Continuing its momentum following Friday’s series-opening victory, the Florida Tech offense piled on 11 runs apiece in each of Saturday’s doubleheader contests en route to a three-game series sweep of Sunshine State Conference opponent Rollins.
“It’s never easy to sweep, and we were able to go out there and execute enough today to finish up the job,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier.
The league’s top hitting ball club displayed a complete offensive repertoire in winning 11-2 and 11-5 in front of the home crowd, including three home runs coming in the finale.
“We did a good job of swinging the bat, and were able to take advantage of some opportunities,” said Berkemeier.
“I thought the guys did a good job of just staying focused, and not trying to do too much.”
Despite the gaudy offensive numbers, game one of the afternoon belonged to starting pitcher Scotty Ward.
The reigning NCBWA South Region Pitcher of the Week followed up his complete game five-hit shutout against Saint Leo with another impressive eight scoreless innings on the mound.
The lefty fanned seven batters, and permitted just one walk, his first since his start against Assumption back on February 21.
“It was a big time start by him today,” said Berkemeier.
“He goes out there and adds another seven punch-outs in eight innings, and just did a great job of commanding the baseball. He continues to put pressure on opposing offenses, and forces them to have to execute. With how he’s been throwing, it definitely puts you in a position to win games.”
The Panthers collected 13 hits in the effort, with a combined nine of them from Tyler Doughty, Reid Neal and Ricky Rodriguez. The trio also scored eight of the team’s 11 runs in the rout.
A tighter affair in the night cap, Florida Tech broke open a 3-3 tie in the sixth by way of the long ball.
Part of a five-run inning, the Panthers regained the lead when catcher Ryan Sinzenich sent a Matt Hendricks offering over the wall in left center for his first career home run.
Later in the frame, Austin Allen added to the damage with a three-run bomb to right center, surpassing his 2014 total with his eighth of the year.
Not to be outdone, with the Panthers already in front 9-3, first baseman Grant McKown roped a line-drive two-run shot that cleared the left-field fence in a matter of seconds to secure Florida Tech’s third consecutive 11-run offensive output.
“Those balls are well struck, and it’s nice to see a few get out of here,” said Berkemeier. “That was a big time knock there by Sinzenich to give us back the lead. He did a great job there behind the plate tonight, and I’m real happy to see him get one like that.”
The pair of wins helps the Panthers improve to an astounding 24-3 on the season, just one victory shy of last year’s 25-win mark.
“Obviously we’re very pleased,” added Berkemeier. “However, we’ve got to maintain that mental edge because the schedule’s not getting any easier.”
FIT will have two days off before it hosts seventh-ranked Flagler Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Tune into FloridaTechSports.com for complete coverage of the action from Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.