TAMPA, Fla. - The No. 8 University of Tampa Spartans baseball team dropped a (5-3) Sunshine State Conference contest to the visiting No. 10 Lynn University Fighting Knights, Friday evening from UT Baseball Field.
After three scoreless innings, the Fighting Knights rallied for two runs on four hits to take a 2-0 lead. Lynn also tacked on three more runs in the top of the eighth, thanks to a three singles and a walk on a two-out rally.
Trailing by a 5-0 score, the Spartans got their bats together in the bottom of the eighth inning to score three runs and come within two. Juniors Nick Flair and Cody deNoyelles led off the inning with back-to-back walks, giving the Spartans two on with no outs. One out later, a single from senior Brett Jones loaded the bases. Junior Chris Pagliarulo stepped up as a pinch-hitter and stroked a clutch RBI single through the right side, scoring both Flair and deNoyelles. With runners on both first and second and again, Andrew Amaro picked up a single to load the bases yet again, paving the way for the following sacrifice flyout off the bat of Casey Scoggins.
Despite a late rally in the bottom of the ninth, it was the Lynn Fighting Knights who took home the 5-3 victory.
Senior lefty Chase Sparkman was the starting pitcher for the Spartans in the loss, tossing seven complete innings in which he allowed two runs on nine hits, striking out five. Sparkman would eventually earn the loss, bringing his record to 7-2 on the year.
Senior Taylor Brookes then took the mound in the eighth for relief duties, throwing the final two innings and allowing three runs on four hits.
As a team, Tampa recorded seven hits in the outing, with senior Brett Jones and junior Cody deNoyelles leading the squad with two apiece. Scoggins, Flair, Tindall, Pagliarulo, and Amaro also registered singles in the loss.
The No. 8 Spartans will wrap up the Sunshine State Conference series against the No. 10 Lynn Fighting Knights on Saturday in a doubleheader. First pitch for the first game is set for 1:00 p.m. and live stats will be available through Tampa.Statbroadcast.com.
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