Hawks (0-0) vs. Florida Tech Panthers (0-0)
Saturday February 2 • 12:00 pm• Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field
Saturday February 2 • 3:00 pm• Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field
Sunday February 3 • 12:00 pm• Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field
By James Vallone
MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The Shorter baseball program will kick-off the 2013 season with a three game series from Florida Tech this weekend.
Willie Lewis and Michael Miranda are back to lead the team. Lewis earned First Team All-Southern States Athletic Conference honors last year when he hit a deadly .418. In addition to that team-high mark, Lewis also paced the Hawks in runs scored (59) and hits (87), and added 13 doubles, five triple and five homers (he had a .601 slugging percentage), 47 RBIs and stole 13 bases. Miranda hit .324 last year, led team with nine home runs, had 12 doubles and five triples, drove in 44 runs and scored 34 runs.
The Hawks are coming off a 2012 season that saw them win 39 games while being ranked in the top 25, also claiming a berth in the NAIA national tournament. That team lost six starters and will look for new faces to step up in the first season of play in the Gulf South Conference.
Florida Tech went 26-23 last season, but returns top pitchers Jason Boyer and James Mannara in 2013. Boyer led the Panthers with seven victories in 13 starts last season, while his 81 strikeouts were a team best. Mannara recorded a team-low 1.25 earned run average and picked up five saves on the year. His 1.25 ERA was the lowest in Florida Tech single-season history.
The Sunshine State Conference recently released the preseason poll, where the Panthers were voted to finish sixth this year.
The games will be broadcast from Florida Tech here.