ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The University of Tampa baseball team took game two of its series against Eckerd College, clinching the 2018 Sunshine State Conference regular-season championship. The title marks the 19th in program history and third consecutive.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: No. 2 Tampa Spartans 16, Eckerd Tritons 3
Records: Tampa (37-7, 25-1 SSC), Eckerd (22-26, 10-19 SSC)
Location: Turley Athletic Complex | St. Petersburg, Fla.
All-time Series: Tampa holds a commanding 114-40 advantage in the series against longtime SSC opponents. The Spartans have now taken 44 of the last 45 meetings against the Tritons and have now dropped a game at Eckerd since 2003.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Spartans broke a scoreless tie with an 8-spot in the top of the third inning that featured three home runs. Danny Sirven got the scoring started with a three-run shot as Harrison Bragg had a solo roun-tripper. Brandon Gali also added a three-run homer. The other run was scored on a Richie Rivera single.
- Darren Miller continued his success in the series with a solo home run of his own in the fourth inning to make it 9-2 in favor of the Spartans.
- Another RBI by Gali put UT in double figures with a 10-2 lead in the fifth on a run-scoring single.
- Gali plated two runs in the sixth inning when he doubled.
- In the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Jack Loefflad came through with a two-run single to score teammates Kyle Cotilletta and Garrett Back. Bragg closed out the scoring with a two-run double to make the advantage 16-3 for the nation's second-ranked team.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Gali became the first Spartan in 2018 to drive in six runs in a game as the senior shortstop went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and one run scored.
- Miller was 3-for-4 from the plate as he also drew a walk and scored two runs. He also set a new school record with eight straight hits and 10 straight plate appearances reaching base.
- Bragg went 3-for-6 with three RBI and two runs.
- Also recording two hits were Nick DeTringo and Rivera.
- A total of 11 different UT players had at least one hit.
- Clay Helvey started on the mound, throwing 6.0 innings. The junior righty yielded four hits and three runs while striking out three Tritons to improve to 5-0 on the season.
- Jordan Leasure pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief while Kasey Radke threw 1.2 innings of hitless play with three strikeouts.
The teams will meet on Sunday at 1 p.m., for the final game of the series as it was pushed back due to rain on Saturday evening in St. Petersburg.
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