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Tampa Athletics | March 12, 2014

Back-to-back homeruns power No. 1 Tampa past Bridgeport 6-4

TAMPA, Fla. -- Top-ranked Tampa took a 6-4 victory against Bridgeport on Wednesday night. The Spartans improve to 20-1 on the season while the Purple Knights fall to 3-6 for their 2014 campaign.

A trio of senior Spartans tallied a home run as Zach Gawrych forced an early tie with a solo shot in the second frame. Innings later, Michael Danner and Tyler Ding hit back-to-back homers to break the knotted score in the favor of Tampa.

Ding and Gawrych were the lone Spartans to tally multiple hits with two apiece. Outfielders Gawrych and Danner recorded a pair of RBI in the game.

Bridgeport centerfielder Jesse Solar tallied a pair of hits to his credit in addition to three stolen bases while catcher Tim Bickford plated a pair of runs for the visiting team. The Purple Knights left 10 batters on base while Tampa took advantage of its chances, leaving only a pair of base-runners stranded.

Both squads battled early in the game, as each team matched the other’s score, ending in a 3-3 tie after two innings thanks to the Gawrych home run.

Tampa broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth, capitalizing off a failed pick-off to claim its first lead 4-3.

The Purple Knights forced another tie score, but left the bases loaded as UT limited Bridgeport to a single run.

Danner would push the lead in favor of the Spartans with a solo homer to right field while Ding followed with deep line drive over the left field fence to give Tampa a 6-4 win.

Sophomore Michael Calkins (2-0) earned the win in relief, hurling two-plus innings without allowing a hit. Junior J.C. Coban pitched the final inning to pick up his first save of the season.

Purple Knights starter Sal Lovaglio (0-2) was credited with the loss, throwing five complete innings, allowing six runs off six hits.

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