SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo baseball team could not overcome two swings of the bat of Jose Jimenez as the visiting No. 16 University of Tampa Spartans upended the Lions 9-2 in a non-conference game at Thomas B. Southard Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Jimenez went deep twice in the game, including a solo shot to lead off the third and a three-run homer in the fourth. His four RBI were more than enough for the Tampa pitching staff, who only surrendered two SLU runs throughout.
The Lions’ first run came in the first inning when three-straight singles, the last by Aaron McLamar, brought in Bobby Munoz to tie the score at one. Their second came in the fourth when a triple by Eugene Garnett saw the Lions put a runner in scoring position. Jovanni Fiallo would get Garnett home in the next at-bat as he managed an RBI ground out to get the run on the board, but it would not be enough.
After the fourth, the UT bullpen would only allow two hits to SLU batters for the remainder of the game.
Tampa starter Carmine Giardina (5-0) threw five innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out six Lions batters to pick up the victory.
On the Saint Leo side, Cory Casuso (0-2) was the pitcher of record for the Lions has he only lasted three innings and surrendered six runs on six hits. Casuso was the first of six SLU hurlers that took the Southard Stadium mound on the evening.
Jonathan Duncan was a bright spot for the Lions' batting order as he went 2-for-4 from the designated hitter spot.
Saint Leo now travels to Miami Shores for a weekend series against seventh-ranked Barry University starting on Friday. The first pitch for Friday’s game is set for 6:00 p.m. at Feinbloom Field on the Barry University campus.