After sweeping a three game series from the Nova Southeastern Knights (23-18, 6-9) the University of Tampa baseball team improved its record to 35-5 and 14-1 in the conference. The Spartans continue to hold onto the number one ranking in the nation with just 12 games left in the regular season.
Starting Pitching A
Tampa’s four-man rotation of Sergio Perez, Nick Peterson, Ross Jackson, and Johnny Williams have combined for an impressive 20-4 record. Even after losing starter Justin Valdes (2-0, 2.77 ERA) early in the season, the starting rotation has not lost a step. Perez (7-2, 2.37 ERA) will be the team’s top starter in the playoffs.
Craig Benner (2-0 1.93 ERA) and Jordan Williams (6-0 3.41 ERA) have each logged over 20 innings and have been successful in setting up closer Aaron Cook. Cook (3-1 8 saves) has put together another great season allowing just 20 hits over 32.2 innings. The only question mark has been reliever Chris Whitney (5.28 ERA). Opponents are hitting .314 against Whitney.
Chris Rosenbaum (.485 13 RBI) has been solid for the Spartans behind the dish. Rosenbaum, a gap-to-gap hitter, has been very impressive at the plate, but needs to improve on throwing runners out. He has thrown out just four of 26 base stealers.
Jose Jimenez (.382, 13 HR 46 RBI) has exceeded all expectations this season. He is one of the top candidates for Freshman of the Year.
Ryan Kennedy (.333 1 HR 20 RBI) has done exactly what has been expected from him this year: provide a solid bat atop the lineup and played tremendous defense in the field.
Billy Wimberly (.368 4 HR 28 RBI) is having another good year at the plate. Wimberly’s experience in big games should be a factor come playoff time. He is the only starter left from the 2003 national runner up team.
Roberto Mena (.372 5 HR 35 RBI) has been excellent with the bat this year but needs to improve his defense. Mena has committed a team-high 12 errors.