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By ROD GIPSON

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 30, 2001


TAMPA -- With four of their past five wins coming against ranked opponents, the Spartans have regained the No. 1 ranking among Division II baseball teams.

UT beat No. 26 Massachusetts-Lowell and swept No. 11 Rollins last week to regain its ranking, which had slipped to No. 2 two weeks ago.

After the 13-10 win over UMass-Lowell and a 15-7 win over Army, the Spartans opened their Sunshine State Conference schedule March 23 at Rollins in Orlando.

UT posted three come-from-behind victories against the Tars (9-6, 4-2, 7-5) to improve to 26-3 overall and 3-0 in the conference.

Tom Carrow, Mike Rabelo, Mike Burreuzo, Kenny White and Angel Cruz had key hits for the Spartans in the series, and Kris Sutton set a career saves mark (16) in the second game against Rollins. The lone undefeated team in the conference, UT begins a three-game series today at Florida Tech in Melbourne.

BASKETBALL: Junior center Sylvere Bryan was named Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week after his performance at the Elite Eight in Bakersfield, Calif.

In beating Adelphi and losing by one to eventual national champion Kentucky Wesleyan, Bryan averaged 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3 blocks.

He was 14-of-24 from the floor, 4-of-5 on three-pointers and 3-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Bryan was named to the all-Elite Eight team as the Spartans (25-7) beat Adelphi 82-68 in the first round and fell 85-84 in overtime to the Panthers in the semifinals.

MORE BASEBALL: In five games last week, catcher Mike Rabelo went 11-for-18 with 4 doubles, a triple, a home run and 6 RBI en route to being named the Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week.

For the season, Rabelo is hitting .376 with 38 hits, 8 doubles and 3 home runs.

SOFTBALL: Pitcher Christy Exizian was named SSC Co-Pitcher of the week after she went 3-0 with three shutouts and a relief appearance.

She pitched 35 2/3 innings, allowing 1 run, 15 hits and 7 walks. She struck out 31, and all of her shutouts were in extra innings. She shared the honor with Lynn's Alana Klaus.

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