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14 Wagler strikeouts top Tampa

The strikeouts piled up and eventually buried Tampa in a 3-2 loss to Florida Southern Friday night.

The Spartan's trouble was directly related to Brent Wagler, who pitched a complete game, with 14 strikeouts, no walks and seven hits.

"We struck out 11 times looking," Tampa coach Terry Rupp said. "We have a good hitting club and it's difficult to understand why we didn't swing the bats. But I really can't make any excuses, we knew (Wagler) could pitch and yet we just didn't do anything about it."

Tampa (21-7) came into the game with a .367 team batting average, but only in fifth inning did the Spartans mount any kind of a attack with three hits.

Tampa's other run came in the ninth when Mike Zerbe hit a line shot over the leftfield fence, which was once again followed by a strikeout, and a weak grounder to end the game.

Wagler's strong performance overshadowed a courageous effort by Tampa starter Bo Donaldson, whose mother died on Wednesday. Donaldson pitched a complete game, scattering nine hits and making Southern scratch for a run in the first, third and ninth innings.

"We couldn't have asked any more from Bo," Rupp said. "He did everything we ever could have wanted."

FSU 7, DUKE 3: J.D. Drew, who leads the ACC with 13 home runs, hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Jeremy Morris hit a three-run homer in the second, and third baseman George Sprauge had four hits, including a two-run homer.

FSU left-hander Randy Choate retired 12 consecutive batters.

HOUSTON 6, USF 5: The Bulls (19-7) trailed 5-0 after four innings, but Ross Gload cut the deficit with a three-run home run. Houston (14-7) added one run before USF added two more on a sacrifice by Shawn West and an error. USF left the tying run on third in the ninth. Scott Glaser (4-1) got the loss.

LSU 11, FLORIDA 3: LSU (21-2, 6-1), leading the SEC with 58 home runs, opened the game with a home run and added three more to drop Florida to 18-9, 4-3. UF was limited to five hits, including a two-run homer by Brian Haught.

_ Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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