Panthers Complete Weekend Sweep of Drury

Jacob Buser – Sports Lowdown photo

The Florida Tech baseball team continued their winning ways Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of the Drury Panthers with a 10-3 victory at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.

FIT finished their long road trip 1-5, but settled in nicely at home, scoring 28 runs in this weekend’s series.

“We got off to a little bit of a rough start and it wasn’t where we obviously wanted to be, but it’s understandable, we just didn’t play well there for a pretty good stretch,” said Florida Tech head coach Greg Berkemeier. “I thought we did a good job this weekend of playing more fundamentally sound and we got some better pitching efforts. We did a better job from top to bottom in the batting order of just having good at-bats and using the whole field.”

Jacob Buser and Ryan Sinzenich each had two hits on the day an starting pitcher Andy Marzheuser got through six innings allowing three runs on three hits, walking two and striking out six.

“I don’t think he was as sharp as we’ve seen him in the past,” Berkemeier said of Marzheuser. “But he found a way to battle through and gave us a solid six innings and allowed our offense to do the rest for him.”

Drury (0-3) got on the board first, in the top of the first inning. Caleb Essick led off with a double and later scored on a sacrifice Fly by Brandt Ollinger.

Florida Tech (4-5) tied things up in the bottom of the second inning which started with a Buser double against Drury starter Avery Jennings. After Sinzenich singled, Jakob Newton grounded into a double play, getting Buser to the plate with the tying run.

Two errors helped FIT put three runs on the board in the bottom of the third. After Tyler Brown walked, James Gronberg hit a ball that was fielded, but the throw to first was high and Brown came around to score. A Daniel Szpik groundout made it 3-1 and a sac fly by Zac Orchard extended it to a 4-1 game.

The visitors got two of those runs back in the top of the fourth, thanks to a single in the gap off the bat of Riley Herron. That made it a one-run game at the time, but the home team was far from done.

The big inning came in the bottom of the fifth. After getting the first out, Jennings got a bit wild. He gave up a single to Vincenzo Catanza and then issued back-to-back walks to Szpik and Orchard. Buser and Sinzenich continued their stellar hitting with a two-run single and a two-run double respectively. Buser scored all the way from first on the Sinzenich double and that made it 8-3.

“Buser’s a good offensive player,” said Berkemeier. “He brings a lot of energy to the field and he’s just a good-natured guy and everybody’s happy he’s part of our club. He can definitely swing the bat and gives you a good quality at-bat everytime he steps to the plate.”

The Sinzenich double not only brought Buser home but also brought Spencer Witherspoon in from the bullpen. Witherspoon got one out before an RBI double off the bat of Raul Quintero made it 9-3.

Marzheuser stayed in for one more inning before giving way to Jake Lane in the seventh. Lane pitched two innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.

After a Gronberg RBI single in the eighth made it 10-3, Berkemeier went to the pen one more time, bringing in Justin Barney to finish things and he did just that, facing four batters and allowing just one hit.

“Jake Lane threw well and Barney was able to go in and close the door,” said Berkemeier. “Our bullpen did well this weekend and we’re gonna need them all year long so it was good to see them have quality outings.”

For more info: Drury @ Florida Tech Box Score 

The Panthers will host Flagler College on Wednesday, These two teams met back on February 11, with the Panthers losing 9-4.

“They’re a solid club,” Berkemeier said of Flagler. “They swing the bats well, they’re aggressive and balanced and we are gonna have to come with a good approach and see if we can play better than we did last time.”

First pitch on Wednesday will be at 6:00 p.m