Florida Tech Baseball Cruises By Albany State 15-1, Reid Neal Goes 4-for-5 Behind The Dish
By Florida Tech // February 27, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Albany State garnered a quick 1-0 lead just nine pitches into Friday night’s series opener, but from there it was all Florida Tech as the Panthers coasted to a 15-1 victory in front of the home crowd to climb back above .500 on the season.
“We started playing a little bit better there this past weekend,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier.
“It was nice to see us come out today and put some runs on the board right away, answering their’s in the first inning. From that point, we did a good job of tacking on to give us a good cushion.”
Ty Cohen improved to 2-2 on the year after he and freshman Rhett Willis combined for a three-hitter in the win.
Cohen fanned seven batters on the night and yielded just one hit in his final five innings of work after surrendering the Golden Rams’ lone run in the top half of the first.
Reid Neal shook a minor lull, collecting four hits to go along with three RBI’s, three runs scored and a stolen base. The junior even flashed some defense with a bare-handed play on a bunt attempt to cap the ball game.
“Reid did a great job swinging the bat and being a catalyst for us,” said Berkemeier.
“He put us in a good position to score runs throughout the game. He was outstanding tonight, and you can’t say enough about the last play of the game. That was a big league play.”
Trailing 1-0 in the home half of the first, the Panthers answered right back on a two-out single by Daniel Szpik through the right side of the infield. Two batters later, James Gronberg put Florida Tech on top 2-1 with an RBI base hit of his own as the onslaught was just beginning.
Florida Tech notched another score in the second before sending 10 men to the plate in a six-run third inning.
Neal blew the game wide open with a bases-clearing double that was then followed by a Grant McKown no-doubter, his third home run of the season, to stretch the advantage to 9-1.
Cohen continued throwing up zeroes on the scoreboard while the offense rolled to its highest output through the first 13 games of the year.
Five Panthers recorded at least two RBI’s in the effort, including three from shortstop John Sternagel, who also added a pair of stolen bases.
FIT and Albany State will return to the diamond for a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday.
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