Skylar Gonzalez (Credit: University of Tampa Athletics)

Tampa Spartans Seek Ninth National Title

Skylar Gonzalez (Credit: University of Tampa Athletics)
Skylar Gonzalez (Credit: University of Tampa Athletics)

TAMPA, Fla. – For the third time in the last five seasons that it is has been held, the University Tampa Spartans make the trip to Cary, N.C. for the Division II national championship.

The top-ranked Spartans (48-8) last won it all in 2019 and, following the pandemic, which wiped out most of the 2020 season, fell short in 2021. Last Saturday’s double-header win over Embry-Riddle in the Super Regional, by a combined 28-4, sent the Spartans to the suburban Raleigh community with a chance to win their ninth national title.

Coach Joe Urso, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America coach of the year and who won his 1,000th game during the South Regional, has led UT to five titles: 2006, 2007, 2013, 2015, and 2019.

Read: Former UT Spartans’ Pitcher Jordan Leasure Impressing In Rookie Season With White Sox

The Spartans, who are 5-1 in the NCAA’s this season, will begin play in the double-elimination tourney against the University of Indianapolis on Sunday (6 p.m.). They will then face either Catawba College, which is about 150 miles west of Cary, or Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at a time to be determined.

UT boasts a pair of .400 hitters in first baseman J.P. Gates (.417) and outfielder E.J. Cumbo (.411). The Spartans have the second-best ERA among Division II programs at 3.25. Sylar Gonzalez (15-0, 2.25 ERA) leads the nation in wins and his ERA is tied for seventh. The righthander was named NCBWA pitcher of the year.

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