CARY, N.C. – The University of Tampa baseball team is seeking their eighth national championship title as they meet the top-seeded, Colorado Mesa Mavericks, on the final day of the NCAA DII Championship Series. With the unbeaten record in the 2019 NCAA DII Championship Series, UT needs only one win against CMU. In comparison, the Mavericks would have to defeat the Spartans twice in order to secure their first-ever national championship.
The Matchup: (#2) University of Tampa Spartans vs. (#1) Colorado Mesa University Mavericks
Date/Time: Saturday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m., *If necessary, game two will begin 45 minutes following game one.*
The Records: (#2) No. 3 Tampa (44-14), (#1) No. 1 Colorado-Mesa (53-11)
About the Spartans: Tampa's turned up the intensity as of late, with a ten-game winning streak beginning on May 11. Dating back to 2015, the Spartans have also won seven straight games in Cary, N.C. The offense exploded on Thursday afternoon with a 12-0 shut-out victory over No. 19 Mercyhurst. UT scored 10 runs in the first three innings and cruised in the semi-final, using 19 different players in the contest. The pitching staff has been impressive for the Spartans, posting a 2.45 ERA in eight postseason games and the group has struck-out 74 batters in 77.0 innings. The expected starter for the national championship is the Tampa ace, Keven Pimentel. Pimentel, a NCWBA/D2CCA All-South Region first-team selection, own's a 2-0 record in three postseason games and has allowed only two earned runs in 23 innings pitched. The senior right-hander started in game one of the NCAA DII Championship Series and went seven innings in a no-decision. The offense has accumulated a .319 batting average over the eight postseason games. Danny Sirven leads the team with 14 hits, and the senior catcher's tied for the lead in 3B (2) and RBI (9). A key player towards the bottom of the lineup has been Nick DeTringo. The senior shortstop has logged 13 hits and 9 RBI this postseason, including five hits and four runs scored in the last two games. Yorvis Torrealba, the Spartans' All-American outfielder, sports a .343 batting average in postseason play and the junior has seven stolen bases in nine attempts. In the last two games, Torrealba's gone 6-for-9 with four RBI, four stolen bases, and three runs scored.
About the Mavericks: The winners of the South Central region, the Mavericks escaped past (#5) No. 12 Central Missouri in the winner-take-all matchup on Thursday evening. Colorado-Mesa took the 1-0 victory after splitting against Central Mo. in the previous two games. CMU website stated, "Will Dixon had what many are calling the most clutch performance in Maverick history" with a complete game shutout in the seniors' first-ever start. Dixon, a first-team NCBWA/D2CCA All-American, entered the postseason leading the NCAA with 15 saves. It was the first shutout of the year for the No. 12 Central Missouri offense. In the last 15 games, CMU holds a 13-2 record which includes the RMAC Tournament, along with a three-game Super Regional against No. 4 Angelo State. The Mavericks roster contains two All-American honorable mentions with first baseman Jordan Stubbings and pitcher Garrett Hutson. Hutson, the RMAC Pitcher of the Year, has not pitched in the NCAA DII Championship Series. However, the senior went 10-1 on the year with a 3.52 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched. Stubbings entered postseason with a .356 batting average with 20 doubles and 13 home runs.
Series History: The NCAA Division II powerhouses have met only twice before, with both matchup's in the 2014 NCAA DII Championship Series. UT ended their season at 54-4, with a 3-2 loss to CMU in the national semi-final. In the game prior, the Spartans defeated the Mavericks, 3-1, to force the winner-take-all meeting. Tampa ended the 2014 season with a school-record .931 winning percentage. Colorado Mesa fell in the 2014 National Championship to the University of Southern Indiana, 3-2 in 12 innings.
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.
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