Ryan Kennedy was a perfect 5-5 at the plate to lead the defending national champions to victory.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. ‘- The last time The University of Tampa (50-10)’ baseball team played at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium, it took the Spartans 10 innings to score three runs while capturing the national championship. On Friday, the top-ranked Spartans scored four first-inning runs to defeat seventh-ranked Cal State University-Los Angeles (46-13-1)’ by a score of 13-5.
Ryan Kennedy got things started for UT in the bottom of the first with a one out double. He later scored on a Roberto Mena sacrifice fly. With Craig Corrado and Jose Jimenez on base, Chris Rosenbaum smacked his second home run of the season to give UT the 4-0 lead.
After CSULA scored a run in the top of the first, UT answered with a run of their own in the second on an RBI double by Kennedy to score Troy Ferguson.
Cal State-Los Angeles cut the Tampa lead to 5-3 with a run in the fourth, which was answered by a three spot by the Spartans in their half of the frame. UT’s half of the inning included RBI’s by Kennedy, Corrado and Mena.
After Cal-State added a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings, Tampa put the game out of reach with a five run seventh. Charlie Raley got the scoring started with an RBI singled that was followed up by a two-run single by Junior Mejia and an RBI double by Ferguson.
Kennedy went 5-5 on the night, which included three RBI and two runs scored. The perfect night for the Tampa second baseman also included two doubles. Rosenbaum added three hits while Ferguson, Corrado, Raley and Mejia each had a pair of hits. UT outhit its opponent 18-9 on the night.
Kevin Ferguson got the start for UT, going three innings while giving up two earned runs. Anthony Perez relieved Ferguson and threw 2.2 innings in relief. Jonathan Holt improved his record to 3-2 on the season after throwing 2.1 innings of perfect ball, striking out one. Scott Leffler pitched a scoreless ninth for the Spartans.
The Spartans advance to play Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. UNO defeated Kutztown 5-4 earlier today to earn the meeting with the Spartans in a battle of Friday’s winners.
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