Panthers Pick Up ‘W’ Against No. 5 Nova 5-3, Fronsoe Shines
By Florida Tech // April 11, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Highlighted by right-hander Ashton Fronsoe’s sensational outing, and a pair of third-inning home runs, seventh-ranked Florida Tech survived No. 5 Nova Southeastern by the final score of 5-3 Friday night.
Separated by only two games atop the Sunshine State Conference standings entering the weekend, Florida Tech snapped the Sharks’ 11-game home win streak to gain early momentum in a crucial series for both programs.
“It’s a good win,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier after his club improved to 32-5, and 13-4 in the SSC.
“It’s always tough to win on the road, and these guys (Nova Southeastern) are obviously having a heck of a year. They’re a really good club, but we were able to put enough runs up early in the game to hold on. You knew they weren’t going to back down, and it was nice to see us answer after allowing the three runs.”
“Overall, it was a great team effort tonight,” said Berkemeier.
In a battle of two of the SSC’s most prominent arms, Ashton Fronsoe outshined Nova Southeastern’s Roberto Baroniel, earning his eighth victory of the season.
The senior tossed 7.1 innings, surrendering five hits and three earned runs, all coming on SSC home run-leader Justin Garcia’s three-run shot in the fourth.
In addition, Fronsoe walked one and fanned seven, his most strikeouts since his outing at Eckerd on February 27.
Getting the nod as Friday’s designated hitter, Ryan Sinzenich opened the scoring on a sacrifice fly that narrowly missed being a three-run home run in the top of the second.
After Kevin Wortman led off the third with a double to left, first baseman Grant McKown clubbed a 3-1 offering off the scoreboard in left center to extend Florida Tech’s lead to 3-0. McKown’s ninth homer now ties him with teammate Austin Allen for the team lead.
Two batters later, Ricky Rodriguez joined in on the fun with a no-doubter into the construction beyond the left-field fence, making it 4-0 Panthers.
As teams of Nova Southeastern’s caliber often do, the Sharks responded in the bottom of the fourth when Garcia hit a deep fly just beyond the outstretched reach of Wortman in center to draw the Sharks back within a run.
Killing the momentum shift, Rodriguez tacked on his second RBI of the evening in the fifth, scoring Allen all the way from first on a double down the third-base line.
Florida Tech chased Baroniel after the fifth, but were unable to capitalize in the late innings.
Still 5-3 in the ninth, closer Jerrod Leinhauser issued a lead-off walk before forcing three consecutive pop-ups to the left side of the diamond to secure his 10th save of the season.
Allen notched his league-best 20th double of the year with a two-out liner off the wall in the first inning.
The Panthers and Sharks will meet again on Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
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