For the third time since Joe Urso took over the University of Tampa baseball program, the Spartans won the last game of the NCAA division II baseball season. Along with the 8-2 victory over Minnesota State- Mankato the program picked up its' sixth National Championship and the third during Urso's tenure as head coach.
"I just couldn't be more proud of these boys," said Urso.
The Spartans jumped on one of the best pitchers in the country in the second inning scoring five runs on Harvey Martin. The tournament's Most Outstanding Player Jake Schrader put Tampa on the board with a double in the inning. UT scored their next two runs when Zach Gawrych lined another double down the third baseline giving them a 3-0 lead. Adam Pendleton followed that up with a double to right field scoring Gawrych before Connor Obrochta drove in the fifth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
"The hitters, they had a great game plan that coach (John) Ramos put in front of them and executed it to perfection," said Urso.
Minnesota State-Mankato fell behind 8-2 in the ninth, when Aaron Gerbasi came on for one out in relief to seal the win on a bloop shot to second recording the final out. Jon Keller picked up the victory on the mound, pitching seven innings of six hit ball, while striking out five.
The National Championship victory is the first for the Spartans since their back-to-back national title run in 2006 and 2007.
"This is amazing, these guys made it look so easy when you look at the scores but what a great tournament," said Urso. "When you look at the pitchers, they stepped up big; we had quality starts from everyone of them."