TAMPA, Fla. – The second-ranked University of Tampa (46-6, 22-2) completed a sweep in last regular season series against Florida Tech (28-26, 9-15) on
Senior Day for the Spartans. The scores were 11-10 and 11-4.
In game one, the Panthers used three walks and a catcher’s interference to score the first run of the game, in the top of the second.
Sophomore Nick Brennan (Detroit, MI) grabbed the lone RBI plating senior Devin Hopkins (Pembroke Pines, FL). This put Tech in the early lead 1-0.
Seniors, JR Hopf and Billy Wimberly led off the bottom half of the second inning with back-to-back singles and they were both driven in by Roberto Mena’s
double off the left center fence. Troy Ferguson the singled through the right side allowing Mena to cross the plate for a Spartan 3-1 advantage.
Again in the bottom of the third, The Spartans’ José Jimenez led off with a single through the left side then Hopf doubled to right. Wimberly then hit a
bloop single to left, driving in Jimenez. McKean grounded into a fielder’s choice allowing Hopf to score, giving Tampa a 5-1 lead.
After Jamie McKean led off the sixth with a double to left field, Ferguson hit a mammoth two-run homerun to right, his fourth of the year. With pinch
runner, Kyle Frontz on first, Jimenez collected his third hit of the game, a double to left. Frontz hustling the whole way knocked the ball from the
catcher’s glove, on his slide to score the eighth run.
Junior Steven Condotta (Mississauga, Ontario) connected for a solo homerun in the top of the seventh, nailing his fourth on the year, to cut into Tampa’s
The Panthers led of the eighth with three walks and it came back to bite Tampa as Tech scored six runs on four hits. Senior Dustin Dangalan (Port Orange,
FL) started off the comeback rocking one through then left side plating Eamonn Powers (Staten Island, NY) for the first of six runs. Senior Bryan Stanton
(Merritt Island, FL) continued the scoring smacking one up the middle scoring freshman Kevin Villa (Miami, FL) and junior Mike Messana (Pinehurst, NC).
With two outs, Jon Baksh (Mississauga, FL) singled through the right side to bring Dangalan home. Powers who started off the inning scoring finished the
inning with two run single in the frame to help tie the game at eight.
Seeming almost automatic lately, the Spartans answered back with two runs to regain the lead, 10-8. Ferguson led off with a double to center and scored
moments later as Kyle Fronts singled through the right side. Hopf picked up an RBI on his third hit of the afternoon, as he drove in Frontz.
In similar fashion to Friday’s game Florida Tech led off with hit batsman and a base on balls, and both eventually scored to tie the contest at 10 headed
to the bottom of the ninth. Stanton and Condotta each had RBI singles to pull the Panthers even with Tampa.
For the second consecutive game Corrado came up clutch by getting another walk-off hit. After Ferguson singled to left center and stole second, Corrado
singled up the middle allowing the speedy Ferguson to score and give the Spartans their second dramatic finish in as many games.
In making only his second pitching appearance of the season, Scott Leffler tossed the final out of the ninth, earning his first career win as Spartan.
Tampa used a combined six pitchers in their 45th victory of the season.
Tech’s starter freshman Mike Piazza (Port St. Lucie, FL) went 5.1 innings allowing eight runs on 16 hits placing one on while fanning two Spartans. Fellow
freshman Jake Koch (Orlando, FL) pitched an effective 2.1 innings allowing five hits on only two runs, striking out two. Junior, Lake Hamilton, Fla.
Woods (0-3) pitched the final two outs allowing the scoring run on two hits.
In game two, Tampa scored three runs in the first. McKean, Hopf and Wimberly all scored on RBI singles by Hopf, Baxley and Frontz.
The Panthers senior Anthony Mendillo (Rockledge, Fla.) doubled down the left field line, driving in Mike Messana, in the second to cut the score to 3-1.
Wimberly hit his seventh homerun of the season, a two run blast to left as Hopf was on base. Jose Hernandez also hit a homer in the frame, his second of
the year, giving Tampa a 6-1 lead after three innings of play.
In the fourth McKean and Cruz hit back-to-back doubles and later scored on RBI base hits by Hopf and Wimberly.
Defending player of the year, Jonathan Baksh, grounded out to first but it was enough to drive in Condotta from third. The next Panther batter, Devin
Hopkins hit a long fly ball to left, that found itself over the wall for a solo homerun. This would prove to be Dangalan’s final blast and second home run
of the year. After four and a half Tech trailed 8-3.
The Panthers added an unearned run in the sixth as Condotta scored his second run of the contest, closing the Tampa lead once again, 8-4.
After McKean led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk, Cruz hit a line-drive homerun for his 21st blast of the season. Wimberly also scored on Frontz’s
ground out for the final score of 11-4.
Ross Jackson moved to 10-0 on the year after he tossed five innings giving up only three runs.
Junior starter Jody Danca, Naples, Fla. native, (2-3) suffered the final loss allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits, while walking one and striking out six
for the nightcap. Woods finished the game allowing only one hit on one run, fanning two Spartans.