Florida Tech Kicks the Tar Out of Rollins 11-5
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // March 22, 2015
Rodriguez went 2-5 and 3 RBI's
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Locked in a tight ball game, 15th-ranked Florida Tech erupted for nine runs following a sixth inning rain delay en route to an 11-5 series-opening win over Rollins Friday evening.
Five Panthers recorded multiple hits, and right-hander Ashton Fronsoe bounced back nicely to notch his fifth victory in six decisions.
“We weren’t selective enough early on, but finally figured it out after the rain delay,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier about the late offensive outburst.
“I don’t know if that’s what it took, but I’m glad we were able to find our focus towards the end there. We added some key runs, and we’ll take the win and move on from here.”
Making his first start since the Panthers’ 15-4 debacle at Saint Leo last Friday, Fronsoe remained in command for most of the night. The senior allowed just one earned run in six innings, striking out six in an efficient 77 pitches.
Tied 1-1 in the fifth, the tides turned in favor of Florida Tech.
The Tars placed runners on the corners with no outs, when Rollins’ No. 3 hitter Carlos Garmendia lined into a double play at second base. Letting the Panthers off the hook, Sunshine State Conference stolen base leader Christian Coburn was then caught attempting to steal home the very next play.
As often is the case, Florida Tech would carry its defensive momentum into the home half of the inning. After reaching on a one-out infield single, Grant McKown would score on a base knock up the middle from third baseman Ricky Rodriguez to give the Panthers their first lead at 2-1.
From there, the offense was only getting started.
After being mired in an hour-long rain delay, Florida Tech exploded for six runs on hit five hits to blow the game wide open in the seventh. Reid Neal’s laser shot off the glove of Tar reliever Spencer Mumford made it 4-1, before Rodriguez smoked a double off the base of the wall in center to tack on two more.
The Tars responded with three unearned runs in the eighth, but the Panthers would match them with RBIs from Neal and catcher Austin Allen.
Penciled in as the designated hitter in his return to the lineup, Tyler Doughty tallied two hits and swiped a pair of bases.
“He’s been there for us for years, and is a guy that makes you happy when you’re able to put his name in the lineup,” said Berkemeier when asked about the senior.
“He’s one of those guys that helps you win, and he did a great job again tonight.”
FIT and Rollins will meet again on Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.
Live video, audio and stats will be available at FloridaTechSports.com/live