Tampa’s Bats Too Much For Valdosta State

Box score

VALDOSTA, Ga. - #1 Tampa (13-2) was relentless in a blowout 15-5 victory over Valdosta State (10-8).

Due to predicted bad weather, the third and final game of the series was move up a half hour to 1:00 pm. In all three games this series the Spartans scored first, this time in the second inning. Before he stole second then reached third on a throwing error, Craig Corrado led off the inning by laying down a bunt that the third baseman wasn't able to get to in time. Paul Cruz lifted a deep sacrifice fly into center allowing Corrado to score the contests first run easily.

Ryan Kennedy led of the third with walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. With first base open the Blazers, like they have tried to do all series, stayed away from Jose Jimenez, and for the third time of this series intentionally walked him. In the first inning Jimenez was hit by a pitch, also the third time in the series that has happened. Roberto Mena was the next batter and laid down a successful sacrifice bunt, advancing each runner a bag. Corrado followed with a double off the 400 foot sign on the center field wall, only Kennedy scored as the runners were unsure if the deep fly ball would be caught. With his second sacrifice fly in as many innings, Cruz drove in Jimenez, for a 3-0 Spartan lead.

Cruz added four more RBI to his total, after he blasted a grand slam over the wall in right center. The homerun was his second of the season and was part of a six run fourth inning. Troy Ferguson and Kennedy added RBI hits in the inning as well.

Tamps scored for the third straight inning and pushed their lead to 11-0. Ferguson scored on a passed ball and Jimenez was allowed to swing the bat and hit a fly ball to right, deep enough for a sacrifice fly that scored Kennedy.

With three runs in the sixth, Tampa extended its lead even farther to 14-0.

Valdosta State finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth with two unearned runs off relief pitcher Scott Leffler.

With two runners on for the Spartans in the seventh, including Mena on third, Valdosta State pitcher, Jeremy Jones, balked allowing Tampa's 15th run to cross the plate.

The Blazers added two more unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth this time of Scott Cahpman.

Daniel Muniz led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo homerun to right center for the fifth Blazer run, but that was all they would get.

Anthony Perez improved his record to 2-0 on the season after pitching five scoreless innings where he allowed only three hits. Thomas Tripp took the loss for the Blazers and fell to 1-1.

Tampa travels to Orlando for a non-conference match-up Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm against Rollins.