CARY, N.C. — Tampa lost only four times in 58 games this season, but that fourth defeat, 3-2 to Colorado Mesa on Friday afternoon, sent the 2013 champion Spartans home from the Division II baseball championships, one win shy of the title game.
Tampa (54-4) took the early lead. Connor Obrochta led off the third with a double, moved to third on an Orlando Rivera sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out error by Mavericks pitcher Joey Danner.
Tampa went up 2-0 in the sixth inning, with Sean O'Brien walking, then scoring on a triple by Michael Danner.
The Mavericks rallied with a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. With two runners on, Tampa coach Joe Urso lifted starter David Heintz for Kevin McNorton. McNorton, pitching in his fifth game of the series, got Orlando Rivera to ground out.
Another two-out Mesa rally in the eighth tied it at 2-2. And with runners on first and third in the ninth with one out, Kevan Elcock hit a sacrifice fly, sending CMU (47-12) to the national title game at 7 tonight against Southern Indiana of Evansville (48-13), a 4-3 winner over Minnesota State-Mankato on Friday.
Heintz, a sophomore right-hander from Bishop McLaughlin, went 62/3 innings, allowing just three hits, one run, one walk and striking out a season-high six. McNorton (7-2), a senior, pitched two innings, giving up four hits and two runs, one earned.
Division I Super Regions
FSU two-hit: Sam Howard pitched a two-hitter and struck out 10 as Georgia Southern stunned Florida State 7-0 in Tallahassee. Howard (7-6) retired 15 straight for the Eagles (40-21) during one stretch. The left-hander walked two and threw 137 pitches. Dalton Busby went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and a double, and Garrett Chapman had a solo home run and a double as Georgia Southern pounded out 16 hits. FSU (43-16) had won 19 straight region games. Georgia Southern plays Kennesaw State (38-21) at 5 today, while the Seminoles meet Alabama (34-23) at 1 p.m. in an elimination game. Florida State had as many hits as it did errors. Georgia Southern chased right-hander Mike Compton (7-3) in the second inning, and the Seminoles used four relievers to finish the game. In the first game, Travis Bergen gave up just five hits in a career-high 82/3 innings as Kennesaw State defeated Alabama 1-0.
um thriller: David Thompson scored in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch to give Miami a 1-0 win over Bethune-Cookman in Coral Gables. Thompson was hit by a pitch with one out, moved to second on Brandon Lopez's single and went to third on a fielding error by rightfielder Josh Johnson. He came around to score when reliever Scott Garner (1-4) threw a pitch in the dirt with two outs. Andrew Suarez (6-3) tied a career best with 10 strikeouts in a seven-hit shutout, and did not walk a batter. The Wildcats' Montana Durapau threw 109 pitches over seven scoreless innings before yielding to Garner. He struck out five and scattered three hits. Miami (42-17) plays Texas Tech at 7 tonight, and B-CU (26-32) faces Columbia (29-19) in an elimination game at 2. Eric Gutierrez's one-out hit scored Zach Davis with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Texas Tech (41-18) defeated Columbia 3-2.
gainesville: Eric Hutting and Carlton Vaughn had two-run hits in the fourth to lead Long Beach State to a 6-1 victory over North Carolina (34-26). Florida (40-21) and College of Charleston (41-17) were scheduled to play later in the night but the start was delayed by rain. After being retired in order in their first three at-bats, the Dirtbags (33-24) batted around in the fourth, scoring all of their runs and on all of their five hits.