Baseball Season Never Ends As Florida Tech Panthers Turn Attention To Summer Ball

By  //  June 11, 2016

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Playing in leagues as far away as Alaska

Florida Tech finished the 2016 season with a reocrd of 29-21, 11-13 in the SSC and will look to improve in 2017 by playing summer baseball across the country. (Image By Matt Starkey).
Florida Tech finished the 2016 season with a record of 29-21, 11-13 in the Sunshine State Conference. Nine player will look to improve in 2017 by playing summer baseball across the country. (Image By Matt Starkey).

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA –With the 2016 NCAA Division II College Baseball season officially in the books, coaches and players have already turned their focus towards taking the next step and improving in 2017.

For a reasonable chunk of Florida Tech’s roster, at least, that means putting in the necessary work on some level of the summer ball circuit. Among the Panther club this past spring that compiled a 29-21 record, 11-13 in the Sunshine State Conference, nine players have already exchanged their Crimson and Gray for alternate uniforms and have begun the grind that is known as “the dog days of summer.”

Following his first collegiate season, reliever Ryan Allain has joined the Leesburg Lightning of the Florida Collegiate Summer League. In seven appearances out of the bullpen in 2016, Allain compiled a 3.00 earned run average in six innings of work, while limiting opponents to a .182 batting average.

Ryan Allain
Ryan Allain

Fellow reliever Drew Beyer has made the trek out to the Alaska Baseball League, where he’ll play for the Anchorage Bucs. A Second Team All-SSC selection, Beyer posted a 2-1 record with an impressive 2.25 ERA in 18 appearances.

He contributed to two of the Panthers’ three shutouts on the season, in addition to ranking third in the SSC with six saves. In 44.0 innings of work, the Sarasota, Florida native tallied a remarkable 9.5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 57 K’s compared to only six free passes.

Kevin Capella, meanwhile, will look to build off a strong sophomore campaign with the Acadiana Cane Cutters of the Texas Collegiate League. Florida Tech head coach Greg Berkemeier had no choice but to keep Capella in the lineup in 2016 after the designated hitter earned just 19 starts a year ago as a freshman.

Capella saw limited action early on before a season-high 14-game hit streak made him a mainstay in the thick of the order. The left-hander batted .331 with a home run, 13 RBIs and 32 runs scored, enough to earn Second Team All-SSC honors at the designated hitter position.

Ty Cohen
Ty Cohen

An all-south region member in 2016, Ty Cohen has been selected to join the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Also named First Team All-SSC, Cohen posted a 9-4 record with a 3.89 ERA in 15 starts this season as the Panthers’ primary Friday night starter.

The right-hander was downright dominant in his final two outings, notching his first career complete-game just one week removed from fanning 12 batters against eventual national champion Nova Southeastern. Overall, Cohen ranked among the Top-2 in the SSC in innings pitched (90.1), strikeouts (98), and wins (9).

Jake Lane and Cooper Mitchell will have the opportunity to showcase their abilities for the Perfect Game League’s Adirondack Trailblazers and the Herndon Braves of the Cal Ripken League.

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Daniel Szpik
Daniel Szpik

In addition, both Brett Porter and Ryan Sinzenich have taken their talents to the Coastal Plain League as teammates on the Florence Redwolves.

In 16 appearances out of the ‘pen, Porter registered a 2-2 record with two saves and a 3.29 ERA, whereas Sinzenich hit .273 with two home runs and 23 RBIs as the Panthers’ everyday catcher.

Daniel Szpik will accompany Beyer in the Alaska Baseball League, although as a member of the Peninsula Oilers. Undoubtedly the most improved player on the Florida Tech roster in 2016, Szpik earned all-region and all-conference recognition after batting at a .379 clip with five home runs, a team-high 49 RBIs and 48 runs scored while starting all 50 contests this spring.

He compiled nine games with at least three hits, ultimately finishing among the Top-10 in the conference in both hits (78) and doubles (18).