No. 2 Tampa edges Delta State
Elder’s 10th-inning RBI single lifts Spartans past Statesmen
VALDOSTA, Ga. – No. 2 Tampa defeated No. 13 Delta State in a tense 10-inning contest on Saturday afternoon. The victory brings the Spartans record to 11-0 on the season as Delta State suffers its first loss, dropping its record to 7-1.
The first run of the game came one play after junior Spartan Jake Schrader singled to left. With a runner on first, senior Eric Grabe shot a triple into right field, bringing home Schrader and giving Tampa a 1-0 lead.
Junior Ben O’Shea, started on the mound for Tampa. O’Shea went 8.1 innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, and one walk. The 6’6”southpaw threw 80 strikes out of 99 pitches, and struck out a total of six DSU batters.
The one earned run was allowed in the ninth inning. With one out, Statesmen Sam Kidd beat a throw to the bag after a diving stop up the middle by Spartan second basemen, Grabe. A sac bunt moved the runner over into scoring position. A DSU double down the left-field line scored Kidd to tie the game 1-1.
Sophomore RHP Preston Packrall entered the game to close out the ninth inning and move the two teams into extras.
Junior Carlos Saade pinch hit for Tampa to lead off the 10th. Saade connected on a pitch and put the ball through the left side for a single. Sophomore catcher Shane Rowland moved Saade over with a strategic sacrifice bunt. Senior Damon Elder singled to the right side giving Saade just enough time to beat the throw at the plate. The Spartans regained the lead and were up 2-1 on DSU.
Two Statesmen outs in the bottom of the 10th inning were followed by two Statesmen singles. With runners on first and second, Tampa’s Elder dove to stop a hard-hit ground ball and threw to first base for the final out of the game. The out sealed up the victory for the Spartans, their 11th of 2012.
Packrall collected the win, his third of the season.