TAMPA, Fla. - The No. 2 ranked University of Tampa Spartans baseball team finished a Sunshine State Conference series against the Eckerd College Tritons with a sweep, Sunday afternoon from UT Baseball Field. The 3-1 victory came at the hands of Tampa pitcher Brad Hencke, whose seven-inning outing earned him his fourth win of the season.
Much like Saturday play, the Spartans jumped on the scoreboard first, garnering a 1-0 lead in the bottom of their first at-bat. Senior Giovanny Alfonzo led off the bottom of the first inning with a one-out single to left-centerfield. One out later, he crossed the plate on an RBI triple down the right-field line off the bat of junior Cody deNoyelles.
The visiting Tritons tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning on two consecutive hits, but Tampa responded in the bottom of the fourth to take back the lead. Brett Jones, who led the Spartans in hitting during Saturday's doubleheader, led off the inning with an outfield single, and quickly took second on a stolen base. A single from Nick Tindall then allowed Jones to take third, and the following RBI single from Ian Townsend pushed Jones across the plate.
After two scoreless innings, Tampa tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh to go ahead, 3-1. It was Aldridge who led off the inning with an outfield single, and was sacrifice bunted over to second base by Casey Scoggins. One out later, a double from Nick Flair allowed Aldridge to score and take a two-run lead.
Taking the mound for the Spartans in the victory was junior Brad Hencke, who started the contest with a 3-0 record. The lefty tossed seven complete innings, allowing just one run and three hits. He struck out five and earned the victory.
Junior righty Dylan Barrow appeared in relief of Hencke, throwing the eighth and ninth innings. The reliever allowed no Tritons to reach base, tallying his fourth save of the season.
As a team, the Spartans totaled 11 hits in the win, recording two extra-base hits and one stolen base.
The No. 2 Spartans will hit the field again next weekend when they travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to take on the highly ranked Nova Southeastern University Sharks. First pitch for Friday's single game is slated for 6 p.m. Live stats will be available through Tampa.Statbroadcast.com.
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