TAMPA, Fla. - The No. 5 University of Tampa Spartans baseball team (35-13, 16-8 SSC) swept doubleheader play against the Rollins College Tars (21-28-1, 6-17-1 SSC), Saturday afternoon from UT Baseball Field. After picking up 10-9 victory, the Spartans offense exploded in the final game of the series to take home a 19-5 win.
Junior lefty Michael Calkins took the mound for the Spartans in game one, tossing five complete innings in which he allowed four earned runs on eight hits and struck out six.
Dylan Barrow closed out the game from the rubber, throwing four innings and earning the save with six strikeouts and just four hits allowed. The reliever would eventually earn the win, improving to 3-2 on the season.
Unlike Friday night's game, the Spartans were the first to score in the first game of the afternoon doubleheader, picking up a run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI from Giovanny Alfonzo that scored senior Andrew Amaro.
The visiting Tars responded in the top of the second inning, however, racking up three runs on three singles and a double. Rollins then tacked on another in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead.
Trailing by three, the Spartans rallied in the bottom of the third for six runs on six hits, a walk, and two Rollins errors. It was Amaro who led off the inning by taking first base on a walk with one out. A fielder's choice then sent Amaro back to the dugout while Brett Jones took first and advanced to second on a throwing error. With Jones in scoring position and two outs, Stephen Dezzi stepped to the plate and blasted a two-run homer over the outfield wall to bring the score to 4-3. Back to back singles from Cody deNoyelles and Stephen Dezzi then set the stage for Nick Flair, who tripled to left field and cleared the bases for a 5-4 lead. A double off the bat of Nick Tindall then scored Flair, and Tindall was able to cross the plate on the following single from Chris Pagliarulo. The Spartans ended the inning with a healthy 7-4 lead, and picked up another run in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Tars loaded the bases and walked Flair to bring home Amaro, extending the lead to 8-4.
Despite a four-run Spartans lead, the visiting Tars came out strong in the top of the fifth inning to plate three runs on two hits and a Tampa error, coming within one run of UT.
Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh, but the Spartans extended their lead to 9-7 with an RBI double from Tindall in the bottom of the eighth that scored Alfonzo.
The Tars scored two in the top of the ninth, tying the game at 9-9, but a sacrifice fly from Jones in the bottom of the inning scored Scoggins and gave the Spartans a 10-9 walkoff victory.
Hencke took the mound in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader, throwing five complete innings and permitting three runs on seven hits. He struck out two and abefore senior Taylor Brookes took the mound in relief, tossing the sixth and seventh innings. The righty reliever was flawless, allowing no hits on no runs.
In the top of the eighth inning, junior Joe Walsh took the mound, allowing one run on three hits in his debut as a pitcher for the Spartans. Closing out the top of the ninth was junior righty Zac Favre, who permitted one run on three hits.
This time, it was the Tars who took to the scoreboard first, garnering a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on two hits.
Tampa responded in the second inning, however, rallying for six runs to force a 6-2 lead. Paglirulo and deNoyelles led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and Tindall reached on an error to load the bases. Keaton Aldridge then sent a long fly-ball into right field, earning a sacrifice and allowing Pagliarulo to score. With runners on the corners, Amaro then registered a single to score deNoyelles, and one out later, Dezzi walked to load the bases. In true senior day fashion, Alfonzo then stepped to the plate to blast a grand-slam, scoring Tindall, Amaro, and Dezzi to take a 6-2 lead.
The Tars picked up one in the top of the third, but Tampa came out in the bottom of the inning to force three runs on a solo homer from Tindall and a two-run homerun off the bat of Dezzi. Through three complete, the Spartans led 9-3.
Neither team scored again until the bottom of the sixth, when the Spartans scored picked up two on a run from Scoggins and a solo homer from Jones. The at-bat put Tampa ahead, 11-3.
Four more runs came in the bottom of the seventh when Amaro picked up an RBI and Ian Townsend blasted a three-run homer over the right-field fence.
Rollins scored again in the top of the eighth, but the Spartans responded in the bottom of the inning to register four runs on solo homers from deNoyelles, Tindall, and Aldridge and an RBI double from Vin Cosenzo.
Allowing just one Tars run to cross the plate in the top of the ninth, the Spartans cruised to a 19-5 win.
In total, the Spartans registered nine homeruns in the doubleheader, amassing 35 hits and walking nine times. Amaro also recorded three stolen bases, while Alfonzo tallied one.
The Tampa Spartans must now wait to see their post-season fate until Sunday, May 10 when the Division II Baseball Selection Show will occur. See NCAA.com for details
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