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Tampa Spartans win NCAA Division II Baseball Crown

The University of Tampa Spartans baseball team won the 2019 NCAA Division II National Baseball Championship 3-1 on Saturday, June 8th in the Division II College World Series in Cary, North Carolina. The (45-14) Spartans defeated the #1 seat, Colorado Mesa in the first game of a double elimination tournament championship to win their 8th National Baseball Title. Trenton’s Stephen Smith is an outfielder on this team of champions. “It feels really good to win this National Baseball Title and go out on top,” Stephen explained.
Smith’s history is lengthy in earning athletic championships as he led the Trenton Tigers to 1A FHSAA state titles in Baseball as a pitcher-shortstop in 2013 and the star quarterback of the 2013 Championship football team. Smith explained that he comes from a pretty strict background growing up in a military family with two older brothers and a younger brother that is now serving in the United States Army.
Stephen attended Virginia Military Institute and transferred to Santa Fe College where he participated as a freshman on a state championship baseball team. Smith enrolled in the University of Tampa and began playing as a Spartan in his junior
year. Playing baseball as a Spartan under Coach Joe Urso was a more professional style of practice. The University of Tampa prepares baseball players for the big leagues as it allows the team members to be a part of a more professional style of baseball atmosphere. Smith transferred from Santa Fe College to University of Tampa and played as a junior in 52 games earning 57 hits in 198 at bats to compile a .288 average, drove in 46 runs with 7 doubles and ranked second on the Spartans in stolen bases with 16. Coach Urso pointed out, “I put a lot of pressure on these guys. Its unfortunate, but to be remembered as a Spartan, you have to win a National Championship.” Coach Urso’s Spartans earned their fifth national division II baseball title in 19 seasons under the University of Tampa graduate. Joe Urso earned a National Championship when he was a Spartan in 1992.
Smith is now excited to move on and begin a new chapter in his life. As a graduated senior, he earned a Bachelors degree in Criminology and a minor in Finance from the University of Tampa. “I will be applying to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Academy to attend the twelve week program to become a law enforcement officer.” He hopes within six months that he will become a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Stephen pointed out that he is working to someday become a detective in this law enforcement agency.
Stephen Smith will be working in Gilchrist County during the summer where he looks forward to seeing and visiting with friends.

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