SAINT LEO, Fla. - The top-ranked University of Tampa (19-1, 6-0 SSC) baseball team took a doubleheader from Saint Leo University (12-10, 0-3 SSC) in a Sunshine State Conference sweep for the Spartans.
Tampa took Saturday's doubleheader by scores of 3-2 and 11-9, stretching its road win streak to 18 against the Lions. UT has now won every game at Southard Field since 2005.
In game one, the teams remained scoreless until Saint Leo struck for a run in the bottom of the fourth as slugger Troy Sieber connected on a solo home run over the right field fence.
The Spartans would quickly respond, tying the score in their next at bat on an RBI single from Laz Rivera that scored Casey Scoggins. UT would extend its lead to 3-1 in the sixth as a Danny Lee single scored teammates Mitchell Preston and Cody deNoyelles.
Lee would finish the first game with three hits and two RBI while Scoggins, Kevin Santa and Rivera each collected two hits. Overall, the top four hitters in UT's lineup combined for nine of the team's 12 hits.
Senior Brad Hencke threw 7.0 solid innings to improve to 3-1 on the season. the lefty allowed just one earned run and struck out three while walking none. Christopher Williams picked up his second save of the season with 2.0 innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.
The second game featured a back and fourth battle, and began with a 3-run first inning for the Lions as Sieber continued his hot streak with a three-run shot.
Tampa would battle back following a pair of solo home runs by deNoyelles and J.D. Osborne, and an RBI single by Danny Lee to tie the score at 3-3.
deNoyelles would put UT up by a 5-3 score when he launched his second home run of the game, this time a two-run shot in the sixth that also scored Chris Gaffney. Following a pair of unearned runs by SLU in a two-error sixth inning for Tampa, the game was tied at 5-5 heading to the seventh. The even score was short-lived as Lee opened the next frame with a solo home run to right, putting the Spartans back on top by a 6-5 score.
Saint Leo countered with a run of its own in the bottom of the seventh, converting on a pair of two-out singles and a stolen base that ultimately allowed the Lion runner to enter scoring position and plate the game-tying run.
The Lions would push their lead to 9-6 with a three-run eighth inning. The Spartans were not done as Lee drew a leadoff walk, followed by a Kevin Santa single. Rivera then drove one home on a double, and UT added another following a pair of back-to-back one-out walks.
Trailing 9-8 with the bases loaded, deNoyelles proceeded to tie the score on a single through the middle. UT would then regain the lead at 10-9 when Adrian Chacon hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Osborne. Casey Scoggins, who made a number of highlight catches in center field, then tacked on another Spartan run with another single, extending the lead to 11-9.
Chris McCormick started for Tampa, and received a no-decision. The junior threw 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs with four strikeouts.
Freshman Mark Moclair, the winning pitcher in Friday night's victory, earned the win to move to 3-0 on the season. In 1.2 innings of work, Moclair allowed no hits while striking out three Lions, including the first two hitters in the bottom of the ninth inning.
At the plate in game two, deNoyelles totaled three hits with four RBI and two runs. Lee and Rivera added two hits apiece, with a pair of RBI coming off the bat of Lee.
The Spartans return home for four home games next week, beginning with a non-conference contest with Bridgeport on Monday at 7 p.m. Live stats and video will be available through TampaSpartans.com.
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