Spartans Take NCAA Tournament Opener Over Florida Tech

Spartans Take NCAA Tournament Opener Over Florida Tech

Box score

LIVINGSTON, Ala. - Playing in its 16th straight NCAA tournament, the University of Tampa (35-13) baseball team rallied past Florida Tech (36-11) by a score of 12-6.

The Panthers grabbed a quick 3-0 after a first inning that included a two-run home run and three Spartan errors. Tampa would cut into the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second as Brett Jones and Chris Pagliarulo each recorded an RBI groundout.

After FIT added a pair in the third to extend its lead to 5-2, Tampa took its first lead at 6-5 with a four-run bottom of the third. In that inning, Nick Tindall registered an RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Jones would follow with a two-run double, followed by an RBI single by Pagliarulo.

Jones would stretch Tampa's lead to 7-5 with an RBI single in the fifth to score Tindall. After Florida Tech trimmed the lead to 7-6 in the sixth, UT added some cushion with a three-run sixth to go up 10-6. In the sixth, Nick Flair started the scoring with a single, scoring Stephen Dezzi. Cody deNoyelles then tripled home Flair and later scored on a wild pitch.

The Spartans added more insurance in the seventh with a pair of runs to stretch the lead to 12-6. Casey Scoggins tripled to right field, scoring Jones, and would later score on a two-out RBI double by Giovanny Alfonzo.

Jones led the Spartans at the plate, hitting 3-for-4 with four RBI and a run. deNoyelles added three hit and three runs as Pagliarulo drove in two Spartans.

Chase Sparkman started for the Spartans (9-2) and threw 6.0 innings. He struck out five while surrendering six his and three earned runs. Taylor Brookes would throw 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts. Brett Jones came in from left field to throw the top of the ninth and notched three strikeouts in a scoreless frame.

Tampa will play Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern against Sunshine State Conference champion and No. 2 seed Nova Southeastern University. Friday will begin at noon with an elimination game between Albany State University and Lynn University, followed by a 3 p.m., game between host University of West Alabama and Florida Tech.

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