TAMPA, Fla. -- Top-ranked Tampa downed Franklin Pierce 8-7 to thwart a ninth-inning rally Wednesday night. The victory puts the Spartans at a 25-1 overall record while the Ravens are pushed to a 13-7 tally on the season.
Senior Tyler Ding and junior Tyler York each notched a pair of hits and a RBI in the contest. Senior Sean O’Brien plated a pair of runs for UT while junior Stephen Dezzi singled home a run.
Franklin Pierce took to the scoreboard first, striking in the second inning with a RBI groundout. Ravens outfielder John Razzino launched a solo shot to left center and two batters later catcher Matt Walsh followed with a laser to centerfield, putting the Spartans at the wrong end of a 3-0 score.
The Ravens would tack on an insurance run in the top of the fourth, but Tampa would answer with three runs in the home half of the inning. O’Brien scored a pair of Spartans with a base-hit while earlier in the inning Ding singled to the right side to score the first run for UT.
Tampa rallied in the sixth to take the lead 5-4 as Orlando Rivera laces a RBI single to left field, followed by a bases-loaded hit-batsman issued to Jacob Tillotson.
UT added a run in the seventh as York padded the lead with a RBI single. An inning later the Spartans pushed the game from reach as Dezzi scored a run with a base-hit through the right side of the infield to give Tampa an 8-4 lead.
Franklin Pierce threatened in the top of the ninth, scoring three runs but UT was able to hang on and stymie the Raven upset attempt.
Lefty Michael Calkins (3-0) threw two-plus innings in relief, halting the Ravens attack while limiting the visitors to a single hit.
FPC hurler Ryan Leach (3-1) started off strong for the Ravens, but allowed five runs over 5.1 innings of work to pick up the loss.