TAMPA – J.D. Osborne doubled down the left field line to drive in two runs and lift third-ranked Tampa to a 7-6 win over #14 Florida Southern in game two to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Moccasins here Saturday in Sunshine State Conference action. The Spartans won game one, 11-3.
Trailing 6-5 heading in the bottom of the ninth, Tampa started its comeback with a lead-off single by Chris Gaffney while Zion Bell beat out a bunt back to the box to place runners on first and second. After both runners moved up 90-feet on a sacrifice bunt, Moccasin reliever Craig Savage (2-1) struck out Danny Lett for the second out. Osborne then hit a 1-2 pitch just inside the third base line for the Tampa win.
Florida Southern (27-13 overall and 9-6 in the SSC) took a 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI-single by Mitch Reeves and then plated three runs in the second on singles by Jason Sierra, Kevin Fuller, Pablo Cabrera, and a double from Shawn Sanders to take a 4-0 lead.
Tampa (33-7 and 15-3) cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second on a two-run homer by Vin Cosenzo. After adding a solo run in the fifth, the Spartans took a 5-4 lead on Cosenzo's second two-run homer of the game in the sixth.
The Spartan lead was short-lived as Florida Southern added a pair of unearned run in the seventh when Dominic Brugnoni reached on a fielding error to start the inning. One out later, Cabrera hit his second base of the game to give the Mocs runners at first and second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball and Brugnoni would scored on a wild pitch while Cabrera would later come across on a RBI-single by Sam Machonis.
Tampa reliever Michael Collins (2-2) shut down Florida Southern in the final two innings, striking out four of the six batters he faced.
In game one, the Spartans erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning to break open a 1-1 game and defeat the Moccasins 11-3.
Tampa jumped on the board first as Casey Scoggins led off the inning with a single off Moccasin starter Logan Browning. Two outs later, Laz Rivera singled in Scoggins for the 1-0 lead.
Browning and UT starter Kevin Martin locked in a pitching duel for the next five innings before Florida Southern tied the score in the top of the fifth as Evan Barnes singled to start the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and one out later, scored on a single by Sanders.
Browning, who kept Tampa off the board after the first inning with seven strikeouts, tired in the seventh, allowing four runs, the last two coming on a home run by J.D. Osborne, his 11th round-tripper of the season. Reliever Walker Burgess was also victimized by a two run homer, this time off the bat of Cosenzo—the first of his three on the day—to cap the seven-run inning. The Spartans added three runs in the eighth for an 11-1 margin.
Florida Southern started the ninth with back-to-back singles by Sierra and Brugnoni with both coming around to score. David Lugo reached on error to put runners on the corners with one out, but was doubled off first when Sanders lined out to second base.
The Moccasins will play at home this coming weekend for the first time April 2, having played their last 10 games on the road. Florida Southern will host Nova Southern on Nov. 29-30 with a single game Friday at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m.