March 7, 2014

Lions Fall to No. 1 Tampa in SSC Opener

SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo baseball team suffered its first Sunshine State Conference loss this season at the hands of a 10-1 victory by the No. 1 Tampa Spartans.

Sophomore Michael Dunnigan took the mound in the Lions' loss, tossing 6.1 innings before junior Tyrone Miller came in for relief duties. The pair allowed 14 hits before junior lefty Brett Nizamoff came in for a no-hit ninth inning. Striking out three, the pitching staff allowed just one walk in 46 batters faced.

The Spartans scored first, picking up a run in their half of the first inning to take an early lead. It wasn't until the second inning, however, that back-to-back doubles from Alex Mata and Jordan Taylor gave the Lions the momentum needed to tie the game. The run would mark the only time during the contest that Saint Leo would score.

In the top of the third, the Spartans took back the lead on a one-run sacrifice flyout. In the fourth, they tacked on another on a solo homerun by designated hitter Sean O'Brien.

Both teams went scoreless until the sixth, when the Spartans forced a two-run inning.

No. 1 Tampa finished off their offensive attack in the seventh, when a two-run homerun and a three-run homerun gave the Spartans five more runs and a 10-1 lead. Despite a scoreless eighth and ninth, Tampa took home the 10-1 victory.

As a team, the Lions collected 5 hits and four walks in the contest. They look to rebound tomorrow when they finish up the Sunshine State Conference series with a doubleheader against Tampa. First pitch for the first contest is set for 3:00 p.m.

For more on the Saint Leo baseball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' Saint Leo Athletics on Twitter and Instagram.