Tampa ace Michael Paul went six innings Friday night, leading the #2-ranked Spartans to a 7-1 victory over Florida Tech at Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field.
Jakob Newton had two hits in four at-bats, driving in the Panthers’ only run. Rodnie Bernard, Paul Castillo, Brett Parrish, and Blaise Maris had one hit apiece.
The loss snaps a six-game winning streak for the Panthers, who hadn’t lost since their opening game against Lynn.
Boris Villa (2-1) got the start for the Panthers and allowed three runs and five hits in five innings of work. The first Tampa run came on an E.J. Cumbo RBI double in the top of the first.
Florida Tech (6-2, 5-2 SSC) got that run back in the bottom of the third when Blaise Maris singled and later scored on a Newton groundout. The Panthers would leave a runner at third, failing to push across another run.
Tampa (5-1, 4-0 SSC) would take the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth when Jose Cadenas laid down a safety squeeze, scoring J.D. Urso. They would add another run in the fifth on a balk by Villa, making it 3-1.
Villa got through the inning allowing only the one run in the inning. His day ended after throwing 110 pitches (63 strikes). He walked three and strikes out four.
Andres Rodriguez came in to start the sixth and Tampa would add a run in the seventh on a wild pitch. Rodriguez went 2.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Tampa would put the game out of reach in the eighth, with three more runs. Luis Moriyon pitched the final 1.1 innings, walking one.
For more info: Tampa @ Florida Tech Box Score
These two teams will complete the three-game series with a doubleheader at Tampa on Saturday. Game one is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m.