Major League Baseball Spring Training action started on Sunday afternoon as the University of Tampa Spartans faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies in an exhibition matchup. After falling to the Spartans last season, the Phillies came out on top this year with an 8-3 victory.
The Spartans came into this game with a record of 11-1, after sweeping Barry in a three-game series.
Junior Christopher Williams drew the start for the Spartans, as the righty went two innings, allowing four runs.
Chris McCormick came in relief for UT, as the righty went one inning, allowing three runs.
Following McCormick was Conner Andrews. Andrews went three complete innings, allowing just one run on two hits, while recording three strikeouts.
Cody Martin came into the game in the eighth inning as the righty threw a perfect inning recording one strikeout.
As a staff, UT allowed nine hits, all which were single. The Spartans were also able to record four strikeouts.
The Phillies wasted no time getting on the board this year as they came out swinging and scored three first-inning runs and adding another run in the bottom of the second to jump out to a quick 4-0 lead.
In the top half of the third inning, Cody deNoyelles and Zion Bell led the inning off with back-to-back singles. Following the base hits, catcher Michael Kleinman hit a double down the left field line to bring in deNoyelles and Bell bringing the Spartans within two runs at 4-2. Kleinman would then come around to score on an RBI groundout by Danny Lee to make the game 4-3 after three innings.
Philadelphia would quickly respond to the Tampa rally scoring three runs of their own off relief pitcher McCormick. The Phillies would score the three runs after a bases-loaded hit by pitch and a two-RBI single. McCormick would then get the next three batters to fly out to end the inning.
Philly would then add the eighth run of the game in the fifth inning on an RBI single up the middle.
Matt Piatt had a big day at the plate, as he went 2-for-3 in the game including a double. Vincent Minet also recorded a pinch-hit single in his lone at-bat for the day.
The Spartans will be back in action on Thursday, March 3rd as they take on Seton Hill University. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 pm.