Florida Tech Baseball Defeats Embry-Riddle In Series Opener 3-1
By Florida Tech // April 16, 2016
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – Facing Embry-Riddle for the first time since 2010, Florida Tech picked up right where it left off five years ago, beating the Eagles 3-1 in Friday’s series opener at Sliwa Stadium.
With the rain holding off, Ty Cohen turned in an impressive performance on the mound, while John Sprowls supplied most of the offense to help the Panthers earn their fifth win in six tries.
On the heels of a seven-inning, scoreless effort last week, Cohen yielded just one earned run in 6.2 innings of work this time around before giving way to Drew Beyer for the seven-out save.
“On the mound, that’s two quality starts from Ty in a row – great outings by him and Drew,” said Florida Tech head coach Greg Berkemeier.
“I thought those guys threw the ball extremely well and gave us a great opportunity to win the game.”
The Panthers drew blood in the second inning via a solo home run from Sprowls. Facing a 3-2 count, the second baseman took advantage of the Troy Naab mistake left up in the zone, depositing his first homer of the season over the left field wall.
Sprowls produced more damage two innings later, doubling Florida Tech’s advantage with a liner into centerfield that plated James Gronberg from second. The sophomore finished the night 2-for-2 with two RBIs, one run scored, a walk and a stolen base.
“Obviously, some big time knocks for Sprowls,” said Berkemeier.
“He did a great job for us, basically accounted for all our runs.”
Embry-Riddle threatened in the home half of the frame after placing a pair of runners in scoring position, but Cohen tallied one of his six strikeouts in the ball game to keep the shutout intact.
Ty Cohen continued to cruise along in the fifth when Liam Goodall cut the deficit in half with a solo homer. However, the Panthers instantly countered in the top of the sixth when Ryan Sinzenich raced home on a wild pitch to stretch the advantage back to 3-1.
After Cohen put Tobias Moreno on with a free pass in the bottom of the seventh, Berkemeier signaled for Beyer out of the bullpen to preserve the cushion. Like it has for most of the season, the move paid off as the Sarasota, Florida native induced a fly out to strand the bases loaded.
From the seventh inning on Beyer flashed his dominance, clinching his fifth save of the season in style by striking out the side looking in the ninth.
“They’re all critical,” Berkemeier said on the importance of the victory.
“I think the guys are trying to figure out a way to buy into who they are and just trying to go out there and play the game right. All around we’re happy to get out here with one, but have to be ready to go for tomorrow.”
John Sternagel’s stolen base in the first inning marked his 30th of the year, the first Panther to reach the mark since K.C. Clabough in 2012.
FIT will look to secure the series victory when both clubs square off Saturday in a doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m. ET.
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