Schrader homers in fourth consecutive game to lift Tampa past St. Edward's
CARY, N.C. -- Jake Schrader belted his second home run of the tournament and all nine Tampa starters hit safely for the second game in a row as the top-ranked Spartans remained unbeaten with a 10-3 victory against fourth-seeded St. Edward’s in a winner’s bracket game in the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship.
Tampa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second as Sean O’Brien was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. One out later, Schrader lined a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence to put the Spartans on top. Schrader, who has homered in four consecutive games and increased his season total to 10, became the first player to hit at least two home runs in the NCAA tournament since it moved to Cary in 2009.
Tampa’s eight and nine batters combined to drive in a pair of runs in the fourth as the Spartans scored in each of the final six innings. Adam Pendleton brought home a run with a double off the left-field wall and Jacob Tillotson singled through the right side to plate another run as Tampa extended its lead to 4-0.
B.J. Zimmerman singled in a run in the fifth and a St. Edward’s error led to two more Spartan runs in the sixth. Michael Danner walked with the bases loaded in the seventh and Zach Gawrych singled in a run in the eighth.
Tampa starter Ben Brown (6-0) pitched seven-plus innings to match a career high for longest outing and held the Hilltoppers scoreless until running into trouble in the eighth. Brown allowed a leadoff single to Joe Pirozzolo and was lifted for reliever Preston Packrall after hitting a batter. A ground out advanced the runners and pinch-hitter Beau Rogers got St. Edward’s on the scoreboard with a two-run single up the middle.
Brown allowed five hits and struck out four.
St. Edward’s starter Brad Nasis (4-1) went four innings and took the loss. Offensively, Nate Bobrowski had three hits and scored a run in the ninth.
Tampa’s first eight hits came from eight different batters and leadoff batter Connor Obrochta became the ninth starter to get a hit with a single in the ninth. Gawrych and Tyler Ding had two hits apiece for the Spartans. Tampa collected 11 hits Tuesday after opening the tournament with 12 runs on 16 hits in Sunday’s first-round win versus Coker.