Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No. 20 Florida Tech Baseball Team Set to Open South Regional

Florida Tech begins its trek for a Division II national baseball title on Thursday against West Florida.  The game will be held at the University of Tampa Baseball Complex at 7:00 pm.

Florida Tech enters the Division II South Region Tournament for the first time since 2010.  This will mark the third appearance under head coach Greg Berkemeier in his six-year tenure.
The Panthers had been to the postseason just two times in program history before Berkemeier became the head coach.  In 2010, FIT lost the opening game to Tampa, 7-1, before beating West Florida, 13-4. The Panthers were eliminated one game later by Florida Southern, 12-4.

West Florida and Florida Tech have met just three times in program history, and just once since 1991.  The last meeting was that regional tournament in 2010, which FIT won 13-4.  In that contest, the Panthers jumped out to a seven run lead in the first four innings, tacking on three in the sixth, one in the seventh and two in the eighth to assure the victory. Catcher Brian Flynn, second baseman Alex Alfonso and pitcher James Mannara were the only members currently on the roster to play in that game.
Florida Tech’s 32 wins this season are the most since the team’s last visit to the NCAA South Regional Tournament in 2010. The 2010 squad recorded a school record 39 wins on the year. The Panthers have won 30 games five of the past six years. This season, FIT’s 30th victory came on April 20 in an 8-5 win over Florida Southern. The squad’s 14 Sunshine State Conference victories represent a tie for the most conference wins in program history. The other 14-win season came in 2010, as well.

Despite the successful season, including currently being ranked No. 20 in the nation by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Florida Tech does not rank in the top 25 nationally in a single statistical category. The Panthers have instead used a combination of pitching, hitting, fielding and base running at key moments to find ways to win games.

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