By Reese Williams
The UT Spartans are going to be a scary team if they continue to play like this. Between their power and very strong pitching staff this could be the dominant team in all of Division II baseball this year.
From Feb.15-17, UT had their home opener against the LIU Post Pioneers. The major story surrounding the team this week is whether Bo Weiss, a junior pitcher, will finally be ready to get a full start.
Last weekend, Feb. 8-10, the Spartans would go on to beat Georgia College in a 4 game sweep. Weiss ended up starting the fourth game of the series, but got pull after only one inning. In that game he allowed four hits, two earned runs and struck out two batters. This was definitely a game used to get Weiss back in the rotation and get him used to playing again after his injury.
In game one of the series, the Spartans went onto rout the pioneers by a score of 9-1. Keven Pimentel, a senior pitcher, was dominant on the mound and picked up his second win of the season. Pimentel ended up going 6.0 innings, with six strikeouts, two hits, one earned run and 3 walks.
The biggest contributors in the hitting department were Danny Sirven, a senior catcher, and Mikey Navarette, a junior shortstop. Sirven went two for three on the day with a walk, two hits and two RBI’s. Navarette was helpful in other ways when it came to runs. He ended up not getting a hit but he got three RBI’s on two sacrifice flys.
In game two of the series, the Spartans were again put on a display of dominance with a final score of 9-2. Tanner Foster, a senior pitcher, got the start and he put up another dominant performance going 7.0 innings, allowing two hits and striking out five batters. Weiss also got to pitch in this game, going 2.0 innings, allowing three hits, two runs and struck out three batters. The big bats at the plate in this game were Danny Sirven and Yorvis Torrealba, a junior outfielder. Sirven would go three for four, with two doubles, a triple, and three RBI’s. While Torrealba finished the game going two for four, with a double and a three-run homerun in the bottom of the fourth.
In the third and final game of the home opener the Spartans would continue to dominate ,winning by a score of 9-0. Mason Duke, a senior pitcher, would get the start on the mound and what a day he had. Duke would go 7.0 innings, striking out seven batters, allowing five hits, and one walk. The power continues to play a huge part for UT with the team hitting three home runs in this game. Keenan Bell, a junior first baseman, ended up hitting a three-run homerun in the bottom of the fourth and Stevie Mangrum ended up with the other two hitting a two-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth and then another two-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth.
“After the first two games of the season they got punched in the mouth and I think that has helped them come together more as a team,” said coach Miliitello, head coach of the baseball team. “We used those two games as a lesson and the guys know the work they have to put in if they want to win that National Championship and they are showing that.”
When it comes to Weiss’ return the team is excited to finally have him back from injury.
“Bo definitely has a ton of potential,” said coach Militello. “The most important thing for us as the coaching staff is to get him back on the mound and get his confidence back because he hasn’t really pitched a ton in a year and a half.”
When talking to him about what it’s like to have Weiss back in the rotation, Danny Sirven said, “It’s big to have Bo back in the rotation because we are definitely going to need him down the stretch. He’s a guy that can come in and shut the door and that’s something the team needs.”
“It definitely feels good to finally get on the mound again because I was starting to get antsy after being injured and not being able to pitch all fall,” said Weiss. “I’m looking forward to getting back to 100 percent and helping this team win a National Championship.”
Next week the Spartans head to Melbourne, Florida to take on the Florida Tech Panthers from Feb. 22-23.
Reese Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org