Tampa Set To Open 2016 Season With Bentley

Tampa Set To Open 2016 Season With Bentley

TAMPA, Fla. - Coming off their seventh National Championship Season, The University of Tampa baseball team will open the 2016 season with a three-game series against Bentley University.

The series will feature three days of action, beginning Friday at 6 p.m., at the UT Baseball Field. Saturday's game is also set for 6p.m., with Sunday's finale at 1p.m.

UT is ranked No. 1 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America preseason Poll and in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Poll.

The Spartans are returning from yet another impressive season with a 43-13 record. Tampa finished second in the SSC, while winning all eight of its post season contests. The eight wins include the South Regional Championship match against conference rival Florida Tech, and the National Championship battle against Catawba.

Following a National Championship season, Tampa returns two players from last year's starting lineup. First team All-Sunshine State Conference player Cody deNoyelles returns after hitting .367, including a team high 77 hits, 13 doubles, two triples and nine home runs. He also drove in 43 RBI and added six stolen bases.  The Spartans also returns its Gold Glove center fielder Casey Scoggins. Scoggins is coming off a stellar season as he hit .352, including a home run. The Gold Glove recipient also recorded 29 RBI and added 15 stolen bases.

The two were also named to the NCBWA Preseason All-South Region team, as deNoyelles earned first team honors and Scoggins earned a spot on the second team.

Tampa is returning three key arms on the mound as Michael Calkins, David Heintz and Brad Hencke return.

Last season Calkins came in big for the Spartans in the National Championship game by throwing a complete game and respectfully earned the title of the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Calkins finished the 2015 season with a 6-4 record, and a 3.18 ERA.

The Spartan pitching staff is also returning a pair of experienced seniors in Heintz and Hencke.

Bentley finished the 2015 season with a 10-23 record. The Falcons recorded an 8-13 record in the Northeast-10 Conference. BU is returning a key player, Ryan O'Conner. The first baseman led the team with a .328 batting average, as he added nine home runs and 25 RBI.

This marks the fifth consecutive season where Tampa and Bentley have opened the year as opponents. All series have been played in Tampa, including this upcoming contest. The Spartans lead the all-time series 12-1 versus the Falcons.

Live stats and video will be available for all games through TampaSpartans.com

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