Spartans to Play for Regional Title After Knocking Off Host UWA

Spartans to Play for Regional Title After Knocking Off Host UWA

Box score

LIVINGSTON, Ala. - The University of Tampa (37-13) eliminated top-seed and NCAA South Regional host University of West Alabama (42-10) by a 13-9 score to advance to the regional title game.

Continuing a tournament trend, the Spartans got off to a fast start with three runs in each of the first two innings. UWA added three of its own to draw even in the second, before Tampa pulled back ahead at 6-3.

The first four Spartans reached base as Andrew Amaro led off the bottom of the first with a single. Casey Scoggins was then hit by a pitch as the bases became loaded on a Stephen Dezzi single. A Giovanny Alfonzo double scored both Amero and Scoggins, as Dezzi would later score on an RBI groudout by Nick Flair.

In the second inning, UT scored all three of its runs via an RBI single off the bats of Scoggins, Dezzi and Brett Jones.

Tampa added extra cushion to its lead in the fourth, crossing five runs to extend the advantage to 11-3. Alfonzo had a two-run single, followed by an RBI single by Jones. Chris Pagliarulo would later doubledown the leftfield line to score Jones, and score on a Cody deNoyelles single.

West Alabama would load the bases in the fifth, but only come away with one run as the Spartans turned a double play to evade additional damage and hold on to an 11-4 lead. The Tigers would then add a pair in the eighth to cut the Spartan advantage to 11-6.

UT would add a pair of runs in the eighth inning, led by an RBI single by Nick Flair. A two out, three run home run by the Tigers would cut the lead to 13-9 in the top of the ninth, though UWA was unabletoo mount an additional rally.

Offensively, Alfonzo led the charge with a pair of hits to go with three RBI and two runs. Scoggins scored three runs as Jones and Flair each drove in a pair of runs.

Brad Hencke (7-1) started for the Spartans and threw 7.1 innings. The junior allowed nine hits and five earned runs while striking our four.

Tampa will now meet Florida Tech on Sunday, with UT needing one win to advance to the NCAA Division II Championships in Cary, N.C., while the Panthers need a pair of wins to represent the region. The first game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern, with a second game to follow, if necessary.

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