CARY, N.C. – The University of Tampa baseball team is set to meet the University of California at San Diego in the NCAA Division II Championship Series winners bracket after Sunday's opening round.
The Matchup: No. 2 University of Tampa Spartans vs. No. 3 UC-San Diego Tritons
Date/Time: Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Records: Tampa (42-14), UC San Diego (41-14)
About the Spartans: Tampa is riding a seven-game postseason winning streak and is coming off a 4-2 comeback victory over Mercyhurst University in its championship series opener on Sunday night. The South Region champions moved forward following a clutch 3-run triple by senior first baseman Cole Perry against the Lakers. Reliever Jacinto Arredondo earned the win with a pair of scoreless innings of relief for ace pitcher Keven Pimentel. Head coach Joe Urso will now turn to Mason Duke, who is a perfect 9-0 on the season with a 2.53 ERA. Duke has struck out 76 opposing hitters in 96.0 innings of work as a senior. In two NCAA tournament outings, he has thrown 7.0 and 6.2 innings against Nova Southeastern and Delta State respectively. In both starts, he settled down from two-run first innings to hold the opponent scoreless for the remainder of his outing.
About the Tritons: The West Region champions have now won three straight games after blanking Catawba on Sunday in its championship series opener. Senior left-hander Preston Mott improved to 9-1 as he went 6.2 innings and scattered four singles and a walk, striking out six and facing just three over the minimum. UCSD looks to go with Luke Mattson on Tuesday as brings a 4-2 record to go with a 3.32 ERA in 14 outings. He has 46 strikeouts in his 62.1 innings of work. A pair of sluggers lead the way for the Triton offense, led by Blake Baumgartner, who has a team-high 12 home runs and 55 RBI while also leading the squad with a .333 batting average. Shay Whitcomb is hitting .320 on the year with 11 home runs. Aaron Kim also adds power as he matches Baumgartner with 12 home runs on the year.
Series History: The NCAA Division II powerhouses will meet for the first time in their respective histories.
Championship Tradition: Tampa has captured a total of seven national championships and ranks as the winningest baseball program in the nation in the 2000s. Head coach Joe Urso has guided his team to four national titles since 2006 as UT is the lone team with multiple championships in Cary with two. This is UT's 34th NCAA tournament appearances as the Spartans have won 18 regional titles.
Game Coverage: Fans may watch live and follow live stats through NCAA.com.
Text Alerts: UT also offers a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.
Front Row: Download the official app of UT Athletics on the Apple or Android store. Look for Tampa Spartans Front Row app to receive notifications from your favorite Spartan teams. The app is completely free.