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Tuesday April 4, 2006North Florida Stuns No. 19 Baseball, 6-5

Jacksonville, FL

Before a spirited crowd of 6,210 fans at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Tuesday night, North Florida (18-14) rallied for three runs with two down in the eighth inning to upend No. 19 Florida (19-14), 6-5. With the bases loaded and two out, sophomore Chad Knight delivered a two-run single off senior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) to tie the game and senior Grant Rogers followed with a base-hit to bring across classmate Jonathan Hodach with the decisive run. The Ospreys received 3.1 scoreless innings from redshirt freshman John Frawley (1-0) to win the first-ever meeting between the programs. O’Day (2-1) failed to convert a save for the first time in seven tries this season.  

 

With the game scoreless, UNF threatened in the third when sophomore Andy Warren led off with an infield hit and raced over to second when the Gators were not paying attention. Freshman Chas Spottswood (Key West, Fla.) retired the next three hitters, including an inning-ending strikeout of sophomore Matt Oxendine, to keep the contest scoreless.

 

The Ospreys opened the scoring in the fourth with three runs on four hits. Senior Brennan Grogan began the frame with a single into shallow right field and moved into scoring position with his team-leading eighth stolen base. Spottswood caught junior Jimmy Glanville looking on strikes and then yielded a base-hit into right to his counterpart, sophomore Travis Martin, before being replaced by sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.). Hodach greeted the reliever with a one-out RBI single into left and Warren roped a two-run double with two down for a 3-0 UNF lead. Spottswood allowed three hits and was charged with two runs over 3.1 innings, with five strikeouts and zero walks.

 

After scattering four hits over four shutout innings, Martin had to leave the mound prior to the fifth with an injury to his right index finger and was replaced by senior Jared Incinelli. Junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) started things off with his third double of the season and sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.) sliced a base-hit for runners on the corners. An RBI grounder by junior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored Dickey with the Gators’ first run.

 

Junior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.) took over for Edmondson (0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R) in the fifth and permitted back-to-back one-out singles to Oxendine and Grogan. The southpaw set down Glanville on a fly out to right and whiffed Martin.

 

A four-run sixth resulted in a 5-3 lead for the Gators. Consecutive walks to juniors Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) and Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) ended the night for Incinelli (1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R). Junior Josh Papelbon struck out junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) but surrendered a single through the left side to senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.), loading the bases with one down. Dickey bashed a ground-rule double over the right-field wall to even the score, Gaski delivered a grounder to bring across Barton with the go-ahead run and an infield hit by junior Adam Davis’ (Fort Myers, Fla.) scored Dickey. After Davis moved into scoring position with a stolen base, freshman John Frawley entered the ballgame for Papelbon (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R). The righty had Petrie tap out to close the stanza.

 

UF’s bid for an insurance run in the seventh was denied when Leclerc was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Leclerc had reached on a two-out error and Cash laid down a bunt in front of the plate. As Cash raced down to first and crossed the bag, the relay throw eluded the first baseman. Leclerc tried to seize the opportunity to score but was gunned down by senior Brett Maloley.

 

After Hurst (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 K) yielded a leadoff single in the eighth to Grogan, McMahon summoned O’Day from the bullpen. Glanville stroked a single into right and junior pinch hitter Andrew Chapman popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt for the first out and Hodach earned a free pass to fill the sacks. O’Day punched out junior Brandon Diaz and Knight knotted the game at 5-5 with a two-run single up the middle. Rogers followed with a single through the left side to give the Ospreys the one-run victory.

 

Each team totaled 11 hits, as Grogan was 3-for-4 to lead UNF. The trio of Cash, Dickey and Gaski contributed two hits apiece for the Gators, who dropped their second straight outing. Florida heads back into Southeastern Conference play on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. when they begin a weekend series at Eastern Division rival Kentucky (22-7). The Wildcats are 5-4 in league play, while the Orange and Blue is 3-6. UK is coached by former Gator assistant John Cohen. 

 

Game Notes

  • Florida fell to 0-3 against members of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
  • The Gators dropped their fourth straight road game.
  • UF had been 8-for-8 in save situations entering tonight.

 

-UF-

 

 

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