LAKELAND - Tampa scored late in game one and held off a furious Florida Southern rally in game two to sweep a Sunshine State Conference doubleheader Saturday here at Henley Field. The Spartans posted a 6-4 win in the opener and held on for a 14-12 victory in the nightcap.
The two losses drop the 15th-ranked Moccasins to 30-10 overall and 8-7 in the league while the 7th-ranked Spartans improve to 29-11 overall and 15-3 in the SSC.
HOW IT HAPPENED - GAME ONE
- Tampa took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-run homer by Darren Miller, but Florida Southern countered with solo home runs by Cody Burgess and Austin Mauer and a RBI-single by Mitch Reeves to grab a 3-2 lead.
- The Spartans put up four runs in the seventh on six hits to take back the lead 6-3, while the Moccasins capped the scoring with a unearned run in the eighth on a run-scoring base hit by Kevin Fuller.
HOW IT HAPPENED - GAME TWO
- Tampa wasted little time taking a big lead as Chris Gaffney hit a grand slam for a 4-0 Spartan lead in the second inning.
- Again, the Moccasins countered as Mauer slammed his second homer of the day and 10th of the season, this one a three-run shot to left field in the third inning.
- Florida Southern tied the game with an unearned run in the fourth on a base hit by Vaun Brown.
- Tampa then blew the game open with a nine-run sixth inning, highlighted by four home runs, including a pair by J.D. Osborne, to take a 13-4 lead
- The Moccasins got one run back on a bases-loaded walk by Burgess and then put up a five spot in the seventh. Mauer keyed the rally with a lead-off double while Omar Villaman walked and Jason Sierra singled. Reeves then singled in one run while Logan Browning hit a grand slam to cut the Tampa lead to 13-10.
- After Tampa scored one run in the top of the ninth, Florida Southern mounted one more comeback. Browning led off the inning by being hit by a pitch while Brown singled. Burgess then single in both Browning and Brown to pull within two, 14-12. Pablo Cabrera singled while one out later, Villaman was walked to load the bases with two outs. Tampa reliever Mark Moclair then came on and struck out Sierra to end the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern leads the all-time series, 107-99, including a 60-44 margin in games played in Lakeland
- Browning took the loss in game one, working 6.1 innings and allowing four runs on six hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
- Tyler Knowles, making his second start of the season in game two, was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on six hits in 5.0 innings with four strikeouts and one walk.
- Reeves, Cabrea, and Mauer, all had four hits in the twin bill, while Brown and Sierra both had three hits.
- Twenty of the first 23 combined runs in game two came via the home run ball.
- The Moccasins head to Ft. Lauderdale next weekend, April 28-29, to take on Nova Southeastern, defending national champions, in a three-game SSC series.