Each Tampa starter records a hit in 12-4 thumping of Coker in first game
CARY, N.C. -- Tampa (44-11) capitalized on an all-around effort to defeat Coker (38-15) on day two at the Division II Championship by a score of 12-4.
Head coach Joe Urso saw each of his nine starters record a hit and the Spartans tied a school record with four triples in the opening round victory of the double elimination championship series.
The Spartans got on the board first, scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Michael Danner doubled, then scored when Tyler Ding tripled down the first base line. The Cobras would respond with two in the second inning, grabbing a brief 2-1 lead.
Similar to the South Regional, Tampa responded quickly with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the second. Zach Gawrych registered the second triple of the afternoon as he drove home Jake Schrader, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Jacob Tillotson then singled home Gawrych, putting the Spartans on top 3-2.
After advancing to second on a failed pickoff attempt, Tillotson then scored on a popup by Michael Danner that was lost in the sun by the Cobra catcher. The play went down as an RBI single by Danner.
Tyler Ding would single home another run in the fourth, as a pair of runs crossed in the fifth on an RBI triple by Schrader and sacrifice fly by South Region MVP Adam Pendleton. The Spartans then carried a 7-2 lead to the sixth.
After Coker scored a pair of runs in the sixth to trim the Tampa lead to 7-4, the Spartans responded again with an onslaught of runs in a five-run eighth inning. All of the runs came off the long ball, with Danner connecting on a three-run shot to right field and Schrader with a two-run homer that cleared the left field fence.
In the third game of the series, the home runs went down as the first of the tourney as Saturday's games featured a total of three runs combined.
Danner and Schrader each finished with three hits apiece, driving in four and three runs apiece. Ding, Zimmerman and Gawrych each added two hits as Ding also plated a pair of runs.
Jon Keller started for Tampa and went 5.1 innings to earn the win and move to 5-3 on the year. He finished with a pair of strikeouts while allowing four hits.
Sunshine State Conference and South Region Pitcher of the Year Mike Adams provided perfect relief as the lefty threw 2.2 scoreless innings. He gave up no hits and struck out four while walking none. Caleb Kellogg entered and threw a perfect ninth inning in his first work since April 27 against Nova Southeastern.
Tampa will return to action on Tuesday, facing the winner of Sunday's game between Grand Canyon and St. Edward's.