Florida Tech Falls 3-0 In Series Finale To Florida Southern
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // March 30, 2015
Panthers Move to 26-5, 9-4 in conference
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Limited to a season-low four hits, No. 11 Florida Tech dropped a 3-0 decision to Florida Southern in Sunday’s series wrap-up at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.
The Panthers wasted another outstanding start by senior Scotty Ward, being shutout for the first time in 2015 one game after slapping 17 runs on the scoreboard.
Ward had his scoreless streak snapped at 20 innings in the losing affair, but kept the Mocs at bay for most of the afternoon, surrendering just five hits and one lone earned run in seven stout innings.
“Scotty threw the ball well, but we didn’t perform particularly well behind him,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier after his ball club fell to 9-4 in the Sunshine State Conference.
“The one run he gave up, he executed, but didn’t receive much help from our defense. When you give a good team opportunity after opportunity, they’re going to find a way to cash in.”
Entering Sunday with a 7.61 ERA, Florida Southern lefty Brady Arenson stymied the Panthers in tune to 7.2 shutout frames.
The junior fanned only two batters, but his defense proved reliable in the Mocs’ first victory in six tries.
It appeared as though the Florida Tech offensive prowess would continue after Reid Neal and Grant McKown both reached base safely to lead off the contest, but the Panthers put just seven baserunners aboard the rest of the way.
“Number one, you have to give credit to their guy (Arenson),” said Berkemeier.
“He went out there, threw the ball well, and pitched to the elements. We had a bunch of fly-ball outs, and in these windy conditions you can’t do that. We got under the ball too much and also hit into three big double plays that prevented rallies or ended innings.”
“When you don’t have a lot of opportunities, you can’t squander the ones you do have with mistakes,” said Berkemeier.
A one-run ballgame in the eighth inning, the Mocs added insurance on a Blake Swann two-out RBI single up the middle. Florida Southern would then tack on one more in the ninth, to secure its first win over the Panthers in the last five meetings between both programs.
Neal rounded out the day by going 2-for-3 with a walk, giving him multi-hit efforts in all three games of the series.
“Despite the loss, we still did win the series,” said Berkemeier.
“In this conference it’s very difficult to win, let alone come away with a sweep. The fact that we took the series is a good thing. Another important week lies ahead, and we have to move on with four regional games coming up that we need to take care of.”
FIT returns to the diamond on Tuesday in a nonconference matchup against Palm Beach Atlantic at 6 p.m.
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