CARY, N.C. – The University of Tampa Spartans baseball team (40-13) defeated the Mercyhurst University Lakers by a 3-1 score to advance to the NCAA Division II Final Four. The Tuesday evening victory came at the hands of Spartans’ senior LHP Chase Sparkman, who tossed a nine-inning complete game.
In addition to Sparkman’s complete game outing, which marks his second this year, the senior allowed just one Mercyhurst run on four hits. The lefty walked one, striking out eight for a career-high and stranding four Lakers on base.
Though the Spartans were the visiting team in the contest, the Lakers jumped on the board first, picking up a run in the bottom of the second inning on a solo homer.
The Spartans answered back in the top of the fourth to tie the game. It was junior Defensive Player of the Year Casey Scoggins who led of the inning with a single up the middle, advancing to third on the following single from senior Stephen Dezzi. Giovanny Alfonzo then reached on an RBI fielder’s choice that scored Scoggins, tying the game at 1-1.
With the Lakers unable to score for the remained of the game, Tampa tacked on the eventual game-winning run in the top of fifth inning. This time, it was senior Chris Pagliarulo who led off with an infield single, taking third base when senior Nick Tindall reached on an error one out later. The situation would force a Mercyhurst pitching change, but senior Andrew Amaro then stepped to the plate to send a long fly ball to right field, good for an RBI sac fly that allowed Pagliarulo to take home.
For extra measure, the Spartans combined for another run in the top of the eighth inning, thanks to back-to-back hits from Scoggins and Dezzi.
On the day, Tampa registered ten hits to the Lakers’ four. The Spartans never took a free base by a walk or a hit-by-pitch, and Casey Scoggins was the only player to leg out an extra-base hit.
Scoggins, Dezzi, Pagliarulo, and Cody deNoyelles all recorded multi-hit games with two hits apiece in the victory, while Nick Flair and Nick Tindall added one each.
Tampa will continue the hunt for the title with a NCAA Division II Final Four Game on Thursday, May 28 in Cary, N.C. at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. With tournament games still to be played, the opponent is still to be determined. Fans may watch the game live through TampaSpartans.tv. Live stats will be available through Tampa.Statbroadcast.com.
Article provided by University of Tampa.