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Tampa Athletics | May 29, 2014

No. 1 Tampa outduels No. 4 Colorado Mesa to stay alive for championship

  Chase Sparkman pitched a gem to keep Tampa's postseason alive.

CARY, N.C. -- Thanks to dominating pitching performance from Chase Sparkman, No. 1 University of Tampa forced a second game against No. 4 Colorado Mesa University with a 3-1 win.

The Spartans improved to 54-3 and forced a winner-take-all second game against the Mavericks, who now sit at 46-12 after the loss.  The winner will compete for the 2014 Division II Championship on Saturday.

Sparkman (4-1) dazzled in his near-flawless performance, outdueling CMU starter Ryan Reno in the pitching showdown. He tossed 8.1 innings of six-hit baseball, limiting the Mavericks to a single run, which did not cross the plate until the ninth inning. 

Kevin McNorton came in to pitch the final two outs, earning his 13th save of the season.

Reno (3-2) was credited with the loss, despite a strong outing. The fellow lefty allowed three runs, one earned, while pitching a complete game.

Zach Gawrych laced a pair of clutch RBI singles to keep Tampa alive this postseason. Stephen Dezzi and Michael Danner each tallied two hits and a run scored while Giovanny Alfonzo scored the final run of the contest.