Florida Tech Panthers Sports Roundup
By Florida Tech // April 4, 2014
Men’s Tennis Hosts Palm Beach Atlantic Today
No. 44 Florida Tech (6-7) returns to action for the first time in two weeks today at 3 p.m. when it hosts future Sunshine State Conference foe Palm Beach Atlantic University (10-8) at the DeSoto Tennis Courts.
The match was originally scheduled for Feb. 21 but was rained out.
Patrick Hernandez and freshman Wade Ball are ranked No. 23 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Rankings and are 7-6 in doubles No. 1.
Baseball Hits the Road to Face Rollins
The Florida Tech Panthers begin the second half of Sunshine State Conference play this weekend, as they travel to face Rollins in Winter Park.
Both the Panthers (19-16, 3-9 SSC) and Tars (13-17, 1-11 SSC) are looking to put the first half of SSC play behind them. The Panthers opened this week by facing No. 1 Tampa on Tuesday. The squad held an early lead, but the Spartans used two runs in the seventh to earn a 5-3 win. The Tars also dropped a game during the mid-week when they lost to Saint Leo 14-0 Wednesday night.
Freshman Grant McKown enters the weekend as the leading hitter for the Panthers with an average of .342. Sophomore Austin Allen leads the squad with 28 RBIs, and a team-high six home runs. Junior Scotty Ward’s 1.83 ERA is the fifth best in the SSC, and is the only pitcher from either team to be ranked in the top-10.
The Tars are led in hitting by Matt Hendricks who enters the weekend with a .333 average. Hendricks also leads the pitching staff with 3.60 ERA in 11 appearances. Brett Flutie leads the club with 18 RBIs so far this season.
Rollins leads the all-time series between the two teams 60-47, but the Panthers have won every SSC series between the two teams since 2009.
Ritter Steps Down as Head Swimming Coach and Aquatics Director
Florida Tech Athletics Director Bill Jurgens announced on Thursday that Jeni Ritter, head men’s and women’s swimming coach and aquatics director, has stepped down to pursue other career opportunities. She will remain on staff, while a national search is conducted and her successor is named.
“I’m grateful for the experience I had over the past three years,” Ritter said. “Having the opportunity to start a program was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I feel we made tremendous strides. Now, I’m excited to be a spectator and watch the program continue to succeed.”
“We are appreciative to Coach Ritter for laying the foundation of our swimming program and overseeing the running of the Panther Aquatic Center,” Jurgens said. “I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”
Ritter coached the Panthers in their first three seasons. With each season, the program showed consistent improvement.
This spring, she guided both teams to their best finish at the Sunshine State Conference Championship at fourth overall. Brian Dumont and Lauren Suarez became the first-ever male and female swimmers to medal at the meet. Following the season, Dar Raz was selected FIT’s first All-Sunshine State Conference honoree.
In the classroom, the women’s team earned the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Award for the fifth straight semester in March. The team combined to average a 3.23 GPA last fall. The men have been selected for the honor twice under Ritter.