Spartans Declaw Panthers

Freshman John Wiedenbauer threw five innings of no-hit ball and picked up his first collegiate win as the University of Tampa baseball team defeated Florida Tech 3-1 on Tuesday night in Tampa.

The Spartans (10-2) bullpen was essential in the win as Scott Chapman and Jonathan Holt shut down Florida Tech (7-3) over the last four innings, securing the win for Wiedenbauer. Chapman entered the game in the sixth inning with no outs, the bases loaded and UT clinging to a 2-1 lead.

Chapman induced a ground ball double play from Panthers’ first baseman Eammon Powers to get the first two outs of the inning. Powers grounded to first baseman Nolan Brannon, who tagged first and then threw Nick Brennan out at home as Jose Jimenez blocked the plate. Chapman then fielded a weak ground ball from Brandon Veronee and threw to Brannon to get UT out of the jam.

“I was just trying to get a ground ball so we could roll a double play,” said Chapman. “It was an all around good play. Nolan [Brannon] did a great job of playing heads up ball to start the double play, and Jose [Jimenez] did a good job blocking the plate.”

Tampa tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh when Junior Mejia executed the squeeze to drive in Brannon, giving Tampa a 3-1 lead.

Holt finished the game for UT, retiring six straight hitters in the last two innings.

Wiedenbauer cruised through the first five innings, striking out eight Panther hitters and allowing just two walks. He had to leave the game due to the strict pitch count he remains on.

“My defense played great behind me, and that is always a big plus,” said Wiedenbauer. “Chris Rosenbaum did a great job behind the plate, and I was happy to turn the ball over to the bullpen.”

Tampa returns to action on Saturday as they take on Valdosta State in a three-game series this weekend in Georgia.

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