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Tampa swept by West Alabama and Southern Arkansas

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – After Friday’s matchup against West Alabama was put off due to rain, the No. 1 University of Tampa Spartans collected their first two losses on the season when they dropped the series opener to No. 19 Southern Arkansas (6-3) by a score of 16-3 and fell to No. 12 West Alabama (6-1) 9-3.

In the first contest, SAU tallied nine runs off Tampa starter Tommy Meagher (1-1) in the first two innings, putting the Spartans in an early hole. After a single and a hit by pitch, Cannon Lester stroked a three-run homer over the left field wall. Lester would hit another wind-aided home run in the third off reliever Jimmy Moser.

The Spartans collected seven hits in the first game, including a solo blast from third baseman Devin Gonzalez, his first on the year. Southern Arkansas’ James Schroeder threw all seven innings for the Muleriders, striking out seven and allowing three runs, two earned.

In the second game, Tampa got off to a quick start when junior Mike Schwartz popped a two-run home run down the right field line to put UT up 2-0. Spartan righty Josh Bowman (2-1) didn’t allow a run through three innings before Nick Wheeler took him deep in the fourth.

The Spartans appeared to be in control before the fifth inning, when the Tigers scored six unearned runs off Bowman. In that inning, West Alabama cranked back-to-back home runs, the first by Rob Dahlberg followed by Wheeler’s second of the game. The deficit would be too much to overcome for Tampa, whose batters, on the day, left 16 runners on base.

Tampa will not have much time to dwell on the losses, as they take on both teams again tomorrow afternoon. The Spartans will take on West Alabama in the first contest at noon and will see Southern Arkansas again at 3 pm.

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