BOCA RATON, Fla. – The fifth-ranked University of Tampa Spartans concluded its three-game Sunshine State Conference series with the Lynn University Fighting Knights on Sunday afternoon. The Spartans pounded out 22 hits en route to an 18-14 victory in 11 innings. The win moves UT to 31-6, 13-2 SSC on the year and extends its winning streak to nine games.
Lynn jumped on the board first in the series finale as they would push across three runs on three hits in the top half of the first inning. Tampa would respond in the second inning, as they scored two runs on a Matt Piatt RBI groundout and Vin Cosenzo scored on a Lynn fielding error.
UT would retake the lead in the top half of the third inning as they pushed across two more runs to lead 4-3. Cosenzo drove in the first run of the inning on a single to the shortstop that scored Casey Scoggins. Cosenzo was then followed by Adrian Chacon, who singled to right field to bring around Laz Rivera.
After both teams were held scoreless in the fourth inning, the Fighting Knights would score a run in the fifth, sixth, and seventh inning to take a 6-4 lead.
The lead would not last very long as UT would respond with a five-spot in the top of the eighth inning. Rivera led the inning off with a home run over the right field fence to cut the deficit to one. Chris Gaffney would tie the ballgame back up at six when he hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Cosenzo. Scoggins then followed the sac fly with a no-doubt homer to right field to give the Spartans back the lead at 9-6.
LU responded in the eighth inning when Kyle Schindler homered to right field to cut into the UT lead at 9-8.
The Spartans would tack on two runs in the ninth inning, as Zion Bell perfectly executed a suicide squeeze to score Rivera. Scoggins would add the other RBI in the inning to give Tampa an 11-8 lead heading into the ninth inning.
The Fighting Knights would not go down without a fight as the first batter in the ninth was hit by a pitch and Alex Turner hit a hard single to first base. With two runners on base and no outs, Eric Schindler hit a game-tying home run to left field to put the game at 11 apiece.
After both teams were held scoreless in the 10th inning, the Spartans opened the floodgates in the top half of the 11th inning. Cody deNoyelles broke the tie in the inning as the shortstop hit a home run out to left field to give the Spartans a 14-11 lead. Scoggins and J.D. Osborne would each add RBI singles to move the game to 16-11. UT capped its scoring at 18 after Rivera hit his second home run of the game, bringing in Osborne.
Lynn would add three more runs in the inning, but the Spartans were able to secure its 31st win of the season after deNoyelles struck out the last batter of the game.
Rivera led the offense in the game as the second baseman went 5-for-6, with five runs scored, three RBI, and two home runs.
Tampa will be back in action on Friday night when they welcome in the ninth-ranked Florida Southern Mocs. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.
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