Panthers Wrap Up Home Baseball Schedule
By Space Coast Daily // April 24, 2013
Next Game May 9 At Nova Southeastern
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – In the final game at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field of the 2013 season, Florida Tech outlasted Palm Beach Atlantic, 5-3, on Tuesday to win the season series, 3-2.
The Panthers found themselves in a two-run deficit after the second inning as the Sailfish jumped out to an early lead. The Crimson and Gray were held scoreless until the fifth inning.
In the fifth, sophomore Dave Johannessen reached on a one-out double, and advanced to third on a ground out. With two away, an errant pitch escaped the catcher, allowing Johannessen to scamper home.
Palm Beach Atlantic would respond with one run in the sixth, but FIT made the bottom half of the frame count, plating four runs.
The rally began with a Jorge Chavarria walk to lead off the inning. Following a groundout, junior Scott Carcaise delivered an RBI single, and proceeded to steal second. After an Andrew Bartlett walk and a fly out, Johannessen delivered again with an RBI single to plate Carcaise.
A throwing error allowed Bartlett and Johannessen to each advance a base. Senior Tony Becerra capitalized on the error with a two-RBI single to cap the comeback and give FIT the lead for good.
Three innings of shutout baseball later, the Panthers closed the home slate with a victory. Sophomore Jerrod Leinhauser was nearly flawless in the seventh and eighth innings, allowing just one hit. Senior James Mannara followed with his 12th save of the season.
Mannara’s 12th save puts him just one behind the NCAA Division II leader, Zach Loraine of Coker. Sophomore Dylan Reid earned the win after four innings of relief, allowing just one run.
“We’re doing a pretty good job of going out and remaining focused and playing the game of baseball,” head coach Greg Berkemeier said. “Our bullpen did a good job. Reid came in and threw the ball pretty well. Leinhauser came in and did the same. Finally, Mannara came in and got his job done. They kept us right there and allowed our offense to find a way to get going.”
The Panthers now face a two-and-a-half week break before concluding the Sunshine State Conference schedule and regular-season slate at Nova Southeastern beginning on Thursday, May 9.
“Our players are going to have to stay focused every time we come out (for practice),” Berkemeier said of the time off. “It’s good from a rest standpoint. It allows us to get fresh again, which is definitely needed. We’ve been grinding out a lot of games over a short period of time so the break will be big.”
The three game set will represent the final push for FIT to make the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament May 16 to 19.