TAMPA, Fla. – After recording a series sweep over Sunshine State Conference opponent Florida Tech, the University of Tampa returns to action this Friday and Saturday in a non-region series. Tampa welcomes in the Catawba College Indians for a rematch of the 2015 NCAA Division II Championship game. UT won the game 3-1 to win its seventh National Championship in program history.
The Spartans enter the series with a 25-6 record and are ranked sixth in the nation. The Indians enter with a 23-11 record and are ranked 23rd.
Danny Lee is leading the Tampa offense as the junior is hitting .407 on the season. Against Florida Tech, the right fielder hit .533 (8-15) in the series with five RBI and three doubles. Laz Rivera is right behind Lee, hitting at a .397 mark and has hit a team-high 16 doubles. Cody deNoyelles leads the team with 35 RBI on the season and seven long balls.
Christopher Williams leads the UT pitching staff, as the junior right-hander has a team-low 2.61 ERA. He leads the team with five wins and is second on the team with 36 strikeouts. Williams earned his first start for Tampa on Friday night against the Panthers as he went 6.0 innings, allowing three runs in the victory. Kevin Martin leads the team with 40 strikeouts on the year.
Catawba is entering the series having won 11 of their last 12 games. Last time out they squared off against 10th Belmont Abbey, where they lost the slugfest 24-22.
Will Albertson leads the offense for the Indians as he is hitting .439 with 14 doubles, a triple, and 11 home runs. Chance Baucom is hitting .359 and leads the nation with 23 doubles on the season.
On the mound, Russ Weiker leads the way as he is fourth in the nation with seven victories. He holds a 3.61 ERA in 10 appearances and has racked up 38 strikeouts.
All time Tampa leads the series with Catawba 8-1. In the meeting in the Championship game last year, Michael Calkins shut down the Indians offense, as the lefty threw a complete game to earn the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
The game on Friday is set to begin at 6:00 pm with the doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1:00 pm. Fans may watch the game at TampaSpartans.tv and follow along with live stats at TampaStats.com.
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