Florida Tech Panthers Break Out Bats To Rattle Palm Beach Atlantic 11-1
By Florida Tech // April 6, 2016
Snaps 4-Game Losing Streak
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Under head coach Greg Berkemeier, Florida Tech hasn’t often found itself mired in such four-game losing streaks as the one it entered with Tuesday night – that didn’t bode well for Palm Beach Atlantic.
The Panthers surged in front thanks to a three-run first inning, while five pitchers combined for a three-hit effort in what eventually ended as an 11-1 dismantling of the Sailfish at Rubin Park.
The Crimson and Gray picked up the exact type of uplifting win it needed after being swept by 18th-ranked Tampa two days prior.
Offensively, the Panthers racked up 11 hits, six of the extra-base variety, to go along with an impressive display by a pitching staff that allowed just three base runners to reach scoring position all night.
Andy Marzheuser earned his second career victory, striking out four in four innings of relief work. Meanwhile, the first three hitters in the Florida Tech lineup combined to go 7-for-13, including Grant McKown, who recorded his fourth double in as many official plate appearances in the top of the fifth.
In addition, third baseman Erik Molina finished 2-for-4 at the dish with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored.
Perhaps still irritated about the weekend’s disappointing performance, Florida Tech blew off some steam right away in the top of the first.
Back-to-back doubles by Daniel Szpik and Grant McKown put the Panthers on the board before James Gronberg doubled the early cushion with an RBI-single through the right side of the infield. Two batters later, Gronberg came around to score on a throwing error by Palm Beach Atlantic’s catcher to give Florida Tech a quick 3-0 advantage.
Staked to a comfortable lead, starter Justus Labigang and Marzheuser surrendered one lone bunt single through the first five innings of the contest. By the time the Sailfish had tallied their second base hit of the ball game, Florida Tech had further built its commanding margin to 7-0 on a quartet of unearned runs.
The Panthers added another score in top of the seventh on a David Wilson base knock that was then followed by three consecutive RBI-doubles by Molina, John Sternagel and Szpik.
Palm Beach Atlantic broke up what would’ve been Florida Tech’s third shutout of the year on a third-strike wild pitch late in the eighth, but not before win No. 20 on the season had already long been secured.
With two more hits Tuesday, Szpik moved into a tie for the Sunshine State Conference lead with 55 total through 34 games in 2016.
Following a run of seven straight contests on the road, FIT will return to Seminick-Hall Field Friday at 6 p.m. ET for the opening of a three-game series against Barry.
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