TAMPA, Fla. – Junior righty Garrett Cave (Bushnell, Fla.) and two relievers combined on a seven-hit shutout as the University of Tampa, ranked second nationally in Division II, blanked Bentley University, 8-0, in non-conference college baseball Friday night at the UT Stadium. It was the season-opener for both teams.
Senior third baseman J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) led the seven-time national champion Spartans with two hits and three RBI.
Following three scoreless innings by Bentley grad student Bill Sullivan (Carver, Mass./Carver HS), the Spartans got on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. With a runner on first, senior first baseman Adrian Chacon (Tampa, Fla.) tripled to right and then scored on the next pitch on a single to left by Osborne.
Before those two runs, Bentley had threatened in every inning. The Falcons had runners on second and third with two outs in the first before Cade escaped trouble with two strikeouts. Senior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) led off the second with a double to right but was stranded on third. Two K's ended the third after a hit batter and an error put a Falcon on third with one out.
And in the fourth, freshman first baseman Ryan Berardino (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) led off with a double and took third on a passed ball where he stayed as Cade struck out the next three to complete his work for the night.
The Spartans added to their lead with two unearned runs in the fifth inning, capitalizing on two Bentley errors and a wild pitch.
Tampa broke the game open in the eighth with Osborne delivering a two-run double down the left field line and scoring on a single by senior DH Vin Cosenzo (North Caldwell, N.J.).
Cave, in his four innings of work, struck out ten while allowing two hits and a pair of walks. All told, Spartan pitchers fanned 14.
Bentley, which had at least one base runner in seven innings but was only 1 of 18 with runners in scoring position, finished with seven hits. Included were two by Ashworth.
Tampa's 11 hits included two apiece from senior shortstop Kevin Santa (Yabucca, P.R.) and senior second baseman Lz Rivera (Miami, Fla.), as well as Osborne.
The two teams square off again Saturday at 6 pm before wrapping up the series Sunday at noon.