Florida Tech Panthers Baseball Picked Fifth in 2020 SSC Preseason Poll Rankings
By Florida Tech // January 20, 2020
Panthers finished 29-18 in 2019
Head Coach Greg Berkemeier led the Panthers to another winning season in 2019.
The Panthers finished with a 29-18 record and with an 18-6 home record. Berkemeier will start his 13th season at home against Lindenwood on Friday, January 31 at Andy Seminick-Les Hall field.
The Panther pitching staff will be led by former professional pitcher Jeff Tam alongside former FGCU pitcher Kenton Hering. The catchers will have guidance from Assistant Baseball Coach Jeff Korte.
“We play in the toughest conference in division two in the country,” Coach Berkemeier said.
“You look at who is at the top of the conference and the success that those the teams have had is no surprise that they continue to be voted in the same area. We are excited about the season, looking forward to getting a chance on a very difficult challenge that the SSC presents.”
Sunshine State Conference coaches select the University of Tampa as the preseason number one for the 12th time in 13 years. With 100 points and 10 first-place votes in the poll, the Spartans are expected to lift the league trophy for the 20th time in program history.
Nova Southeastern University finishes second in the voting with 87 points, while Florida Southern follows in third place with 78 points and the final first-place vote. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (60 points) edges out Florida Tech (58 points) for fourth place in the preseason.
Saint Leo University (54 points) lands in sixth place, closely followed by Barry University (50 points). Lynn University (38 points), Eckerd College (31 points), Rollins College (26 points), and Palm Beach Atlantic University (23 points) round out this year’s preseason ranking.
Eckerd [31-19, 19-11] won its first SSC championship and qualified automatically to compete in the 2019 NCAA South Region tournament. Along with the Tritons, Tampa [45-14, 19-11], Nova Southeastern [34-17, 19-11], and Embry-Riddle [29-22, 18-12] also earned a regional bid.
The Spartans, top seed and host of NCAA South Regional #1, advanced to the Super Regional where they swept Delta State University.
At the NCAA finals site, the Spartans defeated Mercyhurst University two times (4-2, 12-0) along with the University of California – San Diego (7-2), and Colorado Mesa University (3-1) to host the championship trophy for the eighth time in program history
The first pitch of the 2020 season will be delivered on Friday, January 31, and league play opens up on Friday, February 21st. South region tournament play begins Thursday, May 14.
Regional hosts will be determined following the last week of the season and will be announced live, along with seeding, here on Sunday, May 10th.
Cary, North Carolina repeats as the NCAA finals host for 2020, competition in the Tar Heel state begins on Saturday, May 1, and a new champion will be crowned on Saturday, June 8.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS