TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa baseball team will be back in action at the UT Baseball Field as they welcome in rival Florida Southern College. This is a battle of ranked teams as the Spartans enter the series ranked third in the nation while the Mocs enter the weekend ranked 14th. UT enters with a 31-6 overall record and sits in first place in the Sunshine State Conference with a record of 14-2. FSC holds a record of 26-11 and is in third place in the SSC with an 8-4 record.
Tampa is coming off a series sweep against Lynn, where the pounded out 60 hits and scored 42 runs in the series sweep. UT took game one 15-9, game two 9-6, and game three 18-14 in 11 innings. Laz Rivera led the way for the Spartans as the junior second baseman hit .643 (9-for-14) in the series. He hit three long balls in the series, as he had a slugging percentage of 1.429 in the sweep. His offensive performance led him to receive his first Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week honors.
Vin Cosenzo leads the Spartan offense with a .441 batting average. He has also hit three home runs on the year. UT has three other players hitting above .400, as Rivera is hitting .417, Danny Lee is hitting .406, and J.D. Osborne is hitting .403. Osborne leads the team in long balls, as he has launched 10 home runs on the season, including two in the series against Lynn. Rivera leads the team with 19 doubles, and Casey Scoggins leads the team with nine triples on the year. Senior shortstop Casey deNoyelles has driven in a team-high 42 runs.
Florida Southern is coming off a non-conference series as they faced off against No. 13 USC-Aiken. The Mocs dropped the first two games of the series by scores of 4-0 and 4-2. They were able to avoid the series sweep as they defeated the Pacers 17-8 in the final game.
FSC is led by Sam Machonis, who has a .405 batting average with 11 double, two triples, and nine home runs. He also leads the team with 42 RBI on the season. Jason Sierra leads the team with 12 doubles on the year.
The two teams have been evenly matched in the all-time series as Tampa holds a slight advantage over Florida Southern 82-77. Last season in a three-game set in Lakeland, UT took two of three games over FSC winning 15-5 and 11-5.
The first pitch on Friday is set for 6:00 p.m., while the doubleheader on Saturday is slated for a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.