MELBOURNE, FL- The Florida Tech Panthers split today’s doubleheader against Sunshine State Conference rivals Barry University, losing the first game 9-6
and winning the second 4-3. Tech combined for 24 hits in the two games and 20 men left on base. With the split Tech wins the three-game series, and
improves to 24-19 overall, and 8-10 in the SSC.
Junior Jon Baksh (Mississauga, Canada) went 5-5 combined today with two doubles and a homerun. He scored five times while driving in one RBI. Jon also
walked three times on the day.
Senior Randy Pitts (Melbourne, FL) had a great first game. Randy went 4-5 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs. Junior Steve Condotta (Mississauga,
Canada), senior Paul Stone (Dayton, OH), and sophomore Nick Brennan (Detroit, MI) each had two hits in that game.
The Barry Buccaneers took the early lead in the first game, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. The leadoff batter, senior Alex Meneses
(Miami, FL) started the game with a single to the Panther shortstop. The next batter walked, putting runners on first and second. Both runners advanced
into scoring position during the next at-bat on a wild pitch by Panther starting pitcher sophomore Brett Backman (Whitby, Ontario). The next batter,
sophomore Andrew Frezza (Tequesta, FL) drove a single to centerfield, scoring Meneses from third. After a sacrifice fly that drove in the Bucs second run
of the inning, senior Nick Corbeil (Margate, FL) crushed a two-run homer over the left centerfield wall.
The Buc’s extended their lead to five in the top of the second. With a runner on second and two outs, senior Jerry Thornton (Tampa, FL) hit a RBI single.
Tech scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Tech quickly loaded the bases with no outs on a single, a walk, and another single.
The Panthers could not capitalize on the early opportunity, only managing to score one run on a bases loaded walk issued to senior Bryan Stanton (Merritt
Nick Corbeil boosted his team to a 6-1 lead in the top of the third when he connected for his second homerun of the game. This round tripper was a solo
shot that landed over the leftfield wall.
Tech stormed back in the bottom of the third, posting three runs on four hits and pulling within two runs of the visitors. Jon Baksh led things off with a
double to centerfield. He advanced to third on a senior Devin Hopkins (Pembroke Pines, FL) single. The next batter, Randy Pitts, singled to left field
driving in Baksh and advancing Hopkins to second. Hopkins would later score on an RBI single by senior Paul Stone. Tech’s final run was driven in by Nick
Brennan on a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Panthers tied the game 6-6 in the fourth inning, scoring two runs on two hits. With two runners in scoring position Randy Pitts smacked an RBI single
to the second baseman for Tech’s first run. The Panthers scored the tying run on a passed ball.
Barry retook the lead in the fifth inning, scoring two runs on four hits. One of the Buccaneers’ hits was a deep double by Nick Corbeil that landed on the
leftfield warning track. Barry scored again in the ninth inning, bringing the score to 9-6 in favor of the visitors.
Brett Backman only went 2.2 innings for the Panthers, allowing six runs on five hits and two walks. Freshman reliever Justin Arsenault (Camillus, NY)
showed a lot of endurance, pitching the remaining 6.1 innings. He allowed three runs on 10 hits while striking out two and not allowing a walk.
Freshman Mike Piazza (Port St. Lucie, FL) pitched the complete second game for the Panthers, winning his second game of the week. Mike pitched seven
innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and four walks while striking out four.
Two Tech batters, Jon Baksh and Devin Hopkins, combined to go 5-5 at the plate in the second match. Devin went 3-3 with a homerun and three RBIs while Jon
went 2-2 with a double and homerun, three runs and an RBI.
Barry took the early lead again in game two, scoring one run on two Panther errors in the top of the first inning. Senior Jerry Thornton reached first and
advanced to second on a throwing error by the Panther shortstop. Thornton stole third and came around to score on a throwing error by the Panther catcher,
sending the ball into leftfield and allowing the runner to score.
Tech quickly answered back in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at 1-1. Jon Baksh smacked a two-out double to left centerfield and scored on a Devin
Hopkins single to right field.
The Panthers took their first lead of the day in the third inning. With one out Jon Baksh crushed a solo homerun to right field.
Barry answered back in the fourth inning, retaking the lead with two runs. With runners on first and second and one out, the Bucs managed to hit an RBI
single and followed by an RBI fielder’s choice, bringing the score to 3-2.
Tech fought back in the fifth inning, retaking the lead for the final time of the game. With two outs and a runner on first, Devin Hopkins drove a two-run
shot well over the centerfield wall giving the Panthers a one-run advantage, which they held on to.
Tech has the next week off and will face SSC rivals Nova Southeastern next weekend in a three-game series. The first two games will be played on Saturday,
game one starting at noon. The third game is set for Sunday afternoon.