Daytona Beach, FL- The visiting Florida Tech Panthers defeated the NAIA Embry Riddle Eagles tonight 11-6 to split the season series. Tech lost to the
Eagles on February 28th in an early season match, 6-3. Six Panthers had two or more hits on the night; junior Steve Condotta (Mississauga, Canada) led the
Panthers’ offensive, going 4-5 with four runs scored.
Senior Devin Hopkins (Pembroke Pines, FL) went 2-5 at the plate with a run and four RBIs. Senior Randy Pitts (Melbourne, FL) managed to drive in three
runs, going 2-4 at the plate.
Senior Mike Succio Jr (Melbourne, FL) almost went the distance for the Panthers. He pitched eight strong innings and allowed six runs, five earned, on nine
hits and a walk while striking out five Eagles. Freshman Mike Piazza (Port St Lucie, FL) pitched a perfect ninth inning for the Panthers, blanking the home
team while collecting one strikeout.
Tech took a large lead early in the game and held on to it through the night, scoring six runs in the third inning. The first six batters reached base
safely in the inning; senior Bryan Stanton (Merritt Island, FL) and Steve Condotta each singled to put runners on first and second. Stanton scored the
game’s first run on an infield error that let junior Jon Baksh (Mississauga, Canada) reach first. Devin Hopkins followed with a walk, loading the bases for
Randy Pitts. Randy Pitts came through for the Panthers, driving a two-run double to the right-center gap. After a one-out intentional walk to senior Dustin
Dangalan (Port Orange, FL) to load the bases, Devin Hopkins came in to score on a passed ball. Senior Chris Pond (Cary, NC) drove in the final two runs of
the inning with a two-run single, scoring Randy Pitts and Dustin Dangalan.
The Eagles managed to put two runs on the board in the bottom of the third, but the Panthers answered back with a run in the fourth and again in the sixth.
The home team pulled within three runs in the bottom of the seventh, 8-5, but the Panthers came back in the eighth inning with three insurance runs.
The Panthers started the top of the eighth by loading the bases; Bryan Stanton drew a lead-off walk, Steve Condotta laid down a bunt for a single, and Jon
Baksh drew the second walk of the inning. The next batter, Devin Hopkins, smacked a double to leftfield, scoring Stanton and Condotta. Randy Pitts followed
Hopkins with an RBI single in between the first and second baseman, scoring Jon Baksh from third.
The Eagles scored their final run in the bottom of the inning, but it was too late. With the win the Panthers improve to 26-22 overall, while Embry Riddle,
who was had a very successful season, fall to 43-12. Tech has more than a week off until their next game, which is at home on May 6 against Florida Gulf
Coast. During the three-game series against FGC the Panthers are holding their annual Senior Day, honoring the new graduates on the team.