The University of Tampa pounded out 15 hits on their way to an 11-5 win over Division I Harvard (2-2) on a Monday afternoon game in Tampa.
Craig Corrado had three hits, and converted catcher Scott Leffler picked up his first win on the mound as the Spartans (21-4) defeated a Division I team for the first time since 2005 when UT beat Quinnipiac 13-7.
The Crimson kept the game close throughout as Tampa led just 6-5 entering the bottom of the seventh, but the Spartans scored two runs in the seventh inning and three runs in the eighth to pull away.
UT scored both runs in the seventh with two outs as Junior Mejia knocked in Chris Rosenbaum with a single to right field. Troy Ferguson then followed with a triple that scored Mejia to give Tampa an 8-5 lead. The three-run eighth inning was highlighted by RBI singles from Charlie Raley and Nolan Brannon.
Leffler went 1 and 2/3 innings surrendering one hit and striking out four hitters. Junior closer Jonathan Holt picked up his 12th save of the year, going two innings and striking out four of the seven batters he faced.
Freshman Anthony Perez had another tough outing for UT. Perez allowed just three hits in three innings, but he struggled to find the strike zone as he hit three batters and gave up two earned runs. Perez (6.45 ERA) did not factor in the decision.
Harvard, the 2005 Ivy League Champions and the last Ivy League school to advance to the Division I College World Series, committed five errors which lead to four unearned runs.
The No. 3 Spartans travel to Lakeland this weekend to take on rival and fourth-ranked Florida Southern in a three game series. The first game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m
While Florida State (20-0) continues to dominate at the Division I level, it is unlikely that we will be able to see the match-up between Tampa and the Seminoles in the near future. Although a game between arguably the top Division I program and the top Division II program in baseball might generate a lot of interest, it is doubtful the Spartans will ever get to play the same type of competition they faced a few decades ago.
It is uncommon now for Division II teams to compete against Division I opponents. But UT has had a decent amount of success against Division I opponents in the past, recording victories over teams like Auburn, Miami and Michigan. Here is a look at how Tampa has fared against some Division I opponents:
Alabama 0-1 Army 5-0-1 Auburn 1-2 Central Florida 8-8 Clemson 0-3 Florida 7-14 Florida A’M 8-4 Miami 2-14 Boston College 6-3 USF 9-16 Georgia 1-0 Harvard 2-2 Michigan 3-1 George Washington 4-1
For more results visit: http://upload.athleticsite.com/tampaspartans/baseballguide.pdf