Tampa Wins NCAA Division II Baseball Championship

Division II college baseball championshipThe University of Tampa Spartans beat the Minnesota State Manakto 8-2  to capture their sixth NCAA Division II baseball championship.  Tampa starter Jon Keller (6-3) allowed six hits and one run over seven innings, striking out five to help clinch UT’s first national title since 2007.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Keller said. “The opportunity to come to Tampa, it’s been a blessing.”

“Just so proud of this group,” Joe Urso said after capturing his third national title as Spartans coach. “They did everything we asked from them.

This was the first time since 2003 that the top-two ranked teams in DII college baseball had faced each other in the championship game.

Tampa scored five runs in the second inning off Minnesota State ace Harvey Martin and cruised to victory and sixth national title in school history.

Jake Shrader was named the tournament’s most outstanding player after hitting  .444 (8-for-18) with two home runs, seven RBIs and a .944 slugging percentage in five games.

Tampa fought back from the losers bracket after losing 4-2 Grand Valley State on Thursday,  then winning 10-1 on Friday to advance to the final.