CLEARWATER, Fla. - The No. 1 University of Tampa Spartans baseball team dropped a weekday contest to the West Chester Golden Rams, Tuesday from Jack Russell Field in Clearwater, Fla. The 7-6 loss propels the Spartans to a 17-4 record on the year.
With the Tuesday afternoon contest occurring at a neutral site, the West Chester University Golden Rams were the home team of the day. Of the Spartans' four losses this season, two have come as the visiting team.
Holding the No. 1 Spartans scoreless in the top of the first, the Golden Rams scored twice in the bottom of the inning to take an early 2-0 lead in the contest. Tampa was unable to respond until the top of the third, their biggest offensive effort of the day. Senior Stephen Dezzi led off the inning with a one-out single through the right side, and took both second and third base on the following West Chester wild pitch. With Dezzi in scoring position, junior Nick Flair came up with the RBI single to left field. On the next play, junior Ian Townsend blasted a double to deep centerfield that allowed Flair to score from first and tie the game at 2-2. One out later, junior Cody deNoyelles doubled down the left-field line, scoring Townsend and giving the Spartans a one-run lead.
In the top of the fourth, Tampa tacked on another run with an RBI double from Dezzi that scored junior Casey Scoggins. In the bottom of the inning, however, West Chester took back the lead with a four-run outing and forced the Spartans to trail, 6-4.
Tuesday's contest featured just one more scoring inning for either team - the sixth. The Spartans came out rallying in the top of the inning to score two runs and tie the game, but it would not be enough. Andrew Amaro and Dezzi picked up a run scored in the outing, and Townsend tallied the inning's only RBI with single to right-field.
With the score tied at 6-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Golden Rams forced a run across the plate that would make their defining lead of the game. Neither team scored for the rest of the afternoon, allowing West Chester to end the day with a 7-6 victory.
Despite the loss, Dezzi, Townsend, and senior Nick Tindal had multi-hit efforts in the contest, while Dezzi, Flair, Townsend, and deNoyelles recorded RBI. In addition, Dezzi and Amaro each picked up a stolen base, while Scoggins tallied two on the day.
Righty Jake Mielock took the mound for the Spartans to begin the contest, tossing 3.1 innings in which he allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk. The sophomore struck out two in the appearance before junior lefty Michael Calkins came in during the fourth inning. Calkins allowed three runs on four hits and one walk, and was credited with the loss.
Junior righty Zac Favre also appeared in the defeat, throwing 2.2 innings and stopping the West Chester offense completely. He allowed just one hit on the day, striking out three.
The University of Tampa Spartans baseball team will hit the field again on Friday, March 13 when they travel to Lakeland, Fla. to take on the Florida Southern Mocs in another Sunshine State Conference series. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. from the Henley Field.
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