MELBOURNE, FL- The Florida Tech Panthers dropped a high-scoring, non-conference bout to Nova Southeastern tonight in a non-conference game, 15-11.
Combined, nine pitchers were used by the two Sunshine State Conference teams in a game that saw five homerun balls clear the walls; 17 of the18 starting
batters hit safely at least once in the game.
Five Tech players had two or more hits. Senior Dustin Dangalan (Port Orange, FL) went 2-5 with a double and Tech’s only homerun. He scored twice and led
the game with five RBIs. Junior Jon Baksh (Mississauga, Canada) went 3-6 at the plate with a double and two runs scored.
The Sharks started their attack early. They scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning, knocking the Panther’s starting pitcher, freshman Mike
Piazza (Port St. Lucie, FL), out of the game after only retiring one batter. Piazza struck out one batter but aloud three singles, a double and a triple
and five runs. Junior Jody Danca (Naples, FL) entered the game in relief for the Panthers and after retiring the first batter he faced he the first homerun
of the game, a two-run shot by Sposa.
Tech mounted their first big inning in the top of the third. With two outs and the bases loaded Dustin Dangalan brought the Panthers to within two runs
with one swing of the bat, crushing a grand slam to over the leftfield wall.
Nova scored again in the bottom of the third. The leadoff man, Burrows, started the inning with a double. The next batter smacked an infield single putting
runners on first and second. During the next at bat the runners successfully pulled off a double steal, putting two Sharks in scoring position. Clark came
through for the home team, singling to left field and driving in one RBI.
The Panthers took their first and only lead of the game in the fifth inning, posting five runs on the board. Due to poor defense and unstable pitching the
Sharks loaded the bases for the Panthers with no outs. Dustin Dangalan drove in the first Panther run on a sacrifice fly to right field. The next batter,
freshman Eric Trillas (Hialeah, FL), doubled to centerfield, driving in Tech’s second run of the inning while putting runners on second and third. Senior
Paul Stone (Dayton, OH) followed with an RBI-single to leftfield leaving two men on the base paths with only one out. The Panthers scored their final two
runs on another single and an RBI bases loaded walk issued to senior Devin Hopkins (Pembroke Pines, FL).
The Sharks scored another run in the bottom of the inning, bringing the score to 9-7. Tech answered back with a run in the sixth and their final run in the
seventh. Nova fought to stay in the game, coming within one run in the seventh when they scored two more runs.
The Panthers entered the bottom of the eighth leading 11-10. Nova quickly took the lead back; their leadoff batter singled between the first and second
baseman and the next batter smacked a two-run homerun to right field. The Sharks scored three more runs, sealing the game in their favor 15-11.
The Panthers fall to 20-12 on the season while the Sharks improve to 20-11. Tech stays on the road this weekend, visiting SSC rivals Rollins College in a
three-game series. The first game will be played on Friday, with a doubleheader set for Saturday.