TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa concluded its three-game SSC series with Florida Institute of Technology with a doubleheader on Sunday. The Spartans completed the sweep after taking game one by a final of 8-7 and game two by a final of 12-10. After the day, Tampa improves to 25-6 and 10-2 in the Sunshine State Conference while Tech moves to 19-13 and 4-7 in SSC play.
In game one, the Spartans bats proved strong and with the Panthers threatening in the ninth, relied on their defense to seal the victory by a final of 8-7.
Kevin Martin got the nod for the Spartans and had a strong outing. Martin went five innings allowing three runs, five hits, and striking out five. The strong performance was enough to get Martin his first victory of the season, making him 1-0 on the year.
The Spartans offense exploded in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs on six hits. Ricky Negron and Casey Scoggins each had RBI singles of their own, giving Tampa a 3-1 lead. Danny Lee roped a two run single up the middle and brought Scoggins and Gaffney around to score, extending the Spartan lead to 5-1.
With a 7-5 lead heading into the eighth, Tampa was able to add some breathing room. Laz Rivera ripped an RBI single to right field that brought Danny Lee around to score, extending the Tampa lead to 8-5.
Chris McCormick relieved Cody Martin after allowing two quick runs and recording no outs. After recording two outs, the Panthers had a runner on third and trailed 8-7. John Sprowls hit a rocket to shortstop that seemed like a sure single, but a diving Cody deNoyelles made the spectacular catch and sealed the victory for Tampa. McCormick was awarded the save.
In game two, the Spartans offense came out in full force, outhitting the Panthers in hits and runs. Tampa's defense was solid once again, only allowing one error.
Brad Hencke took the hill for the Spartans and produced a solid performance. Hencke went went five innings pitched, giving up six hits, one earned run, and struck out two.
The Spartans bats stayed hot from game one scoring five runs on four hits in the first inning. Danny Lee and Laz Rivera both had RBI singles that gave Tampa a 2-0 lead. Cody deNoyelles crushed a three run home run to left field that extended the UT lead to 5-0.
Tampa struck again in the bottom of the third when Vin Cosenzo roped a two run double to right field, extending the lead to 7-0. In the bottom of the fifth, the Tampa offense came through again when Vincent Miniet hit a two run home run to left field. J.D. Osborne followed the home run with a two run double, putting Tampa up 11-1.
After some defensive woes, the Spartans found themselves only leading 11-9 going into the bottom of the eighth. Casey Scoggins provided Tampa with some breathing room with an RBI single that brought Piatt across the plate, extending the lead to 12-9.
Nick Nolan came in for relief in the seventh and stayed strong for the Spartans. Nolan went two and one third innings pitched, allowing one run and striking out three. He earned his first save of the season.
Tampa will be back in action Friday, April 8th where they'll face off against Catawba College in a three game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM at the University of Tampa baseball field. The game will be available for live stream through TampaSpartans.com
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