UT Spartans baseball dancing toward playoffs, possible national title

University of Tampa Spartans Head Coach Joe Urso has created a championship culture at the University of Tampa.

He's taken a team to the playoffs every year of his 19 years at the helm.

"The main reasons you come to Tampa are to graduate, have a chance to win a championship, and hopefully move on to pro ball," Urso said.

Urso knows it takes more than talent to win. It's about building a strong bond and his team has become brothers.

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They also have no filters and no problems cutting loose. Part of their daily routine is dancing to Latin music.

"We have some special dances," smiled Spartans outfielder Yorvis Torrealba. "Spanish dances, Spanish words that we say. The rituals are staying loose, not think too much. Just have fun."

They've got their dance moves down for the postseason, but they're still looking for that finishing touch, to show solidarity.

"Early on, we tried, everyone went blonde in their hair," laughed Spartans pitcher Keven Pimentel. "We haven't decided anything. Maybe some red, red and black in the hair."

When you think of the UT Spartans baseball team, national championships come to mind. The Spartans have won seven; second most in Division II. Joe Urso has been a part of five of them - one as a player and four as a coach. Their last was in 2015 and the Spartans feel they are long overdue.

"It's been a while for us," said Urso. "Especially the way we expect things be done. "

With a winning tradition, it's easy for the players to buy into the program, but even within a team concept, there is room for individual expression. The team has one player who's their rapper, but Urso quickly points out - this team is better at baseball than dancing.

Still, he wouldn't mind seeing them dancing their way to another title.