Florida Tech Extends Win Streak To Five With Series Sweep Against Albany State

By  //  February 28, 2016

Florida Tech outscored Albany State 31-3 in this weekend’s three-game series sweep. (Image by Jim Hogue)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Showing no signs of a letdown following Friday’s rout of Albany State, Florida Tech kept its foot on the gas and cruised to a series sweep with a pair of victories Saturday at Seminick-Hall Field to run its win streak to five games.

The Panthers’ balance, both offensively and defensively, was evident as they captured a 6-0 shutout in game one of the afternoon before hammering out a 10-2 ‘W’ the weekend finale.

Head Coach Greg Berkemeier’s squad displayed everything from its team speed to its bullpen depth, and possibly found another piece to add to the lineup in Michael Jenks.

With usual first baseman Grant McKown shifted to the designated hitter role on Saturday, the sophomore combined to go 5-for-7 at the dish with three RBI’s, including a perfect 3-for-3 in the day’s early session.

Greg Berkemeier
Greg Berkemeier

“Jenks had a great day for us on a day that we needed him to,” said Berkemeier.

“The opportunity presented itself to get Jenks out there and he took advantage of it. That was a big-time effort by him and I’m very pleased and happy for him.”

John Sternagel gave the Golden Rams pitching staff fits as well with a 2-for-4 effort and a 4-for-5 performance to raise his season average to a team-high .379.

The Florida Tech shortstop has now recorded 15 hits in his last seven games.

Game one belonged to the Panther pitching staff, though, as Tyler Deel and Drew Beyer combined for Florida Tech’s first shutout since beating Saint Leo 9-0 on Mar. 15, 2015. Deel struck out eight and scattered just four hits, before giving way to Beyer in the top of the seventh.

The Sarasota, Florida continued his impressive sophomore campaign by surrendering only one base runner in three innings out of the bullpen, increasing his jaw-dropping strikeout-to-walk ratio to 27:1.

The Panthers jumped all over Albany State from the get-go, notching five of their six runs of the ball game in the first two innings.

Florida Tech’s offense started very similarly in the series conclusion, this time tallying three runs apiece in the opening two frames.

Freshman James Gronberg put the Panthers on the scoreboard with a two-run double to left center and was then followed by Jenks, who tacked on a sacrifice fly to give Florida Tech the early 3-0 cushion.

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That margin quickly doubled after Daniel Szpik plated a pair on a ball laced through the right side of the infield, giving him three straight contests with at least two RBI’s.

With a healthy lead, the bullpen nailed the door shut after Andy Marzheuser was replaced in the fourth. Highlighted by Luke Lorah, who picked up his second win of the year in the ball game, the Panthers used four relievers to limit Albany State to just two hits in the final 5.1 innings.

“Those were good team wins there today,” said Berkemeier.

“Guys came in and were able to execute. I thought the pitching staff did a good job all day.”

With three more stolen bases to his credit on Saturday, Sternagel now leads the Sunshine State Conference in that category with 10.

Florida Tech outscored Albany State by a combined 31-3 margin over the weekend.

Berkemeier and company will go for win No. 10 on the season when they travel to Fort Pierce, Florida this Thursday for a neutral site matchup against Chestnut Hill.

For complete coverage, log onto FloridaTechSports.com.