North Florida used a seven-run first inning and a
16-hit offensive outburst to hand Florida
a 15-8 setback on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium.
After the Gators closed to within 10-8 in the sixth on a two-run homer by
senior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.),
the Ospreys plated five unearned runs with two down in the seventh to seal the
victory. Senior Andrew Stilley (1-2) threw two
innings to collect the victory, while classmate Renzo
Sheppard struck out a career-high eight batters over four hitless innings to
register his first career save.
The Ospreys sent 11 batters to the plate and jumped
out to a 7-0 lead with five hits and three walks in the first stanza. Freshman
T.J. Thompson drew a leadoff walk, sophomore Brian Wilson singled to right
field and freshman Mycal Jones punched a base-hit to
fill the sacks against freshman Clint
Franklin (Orlando, Fla.)
(0-2). Senior Jon Dandridge walked on four pitches to score Thompson and senior
Jimmy Glanville ripped a two-run double for a 3-0 margin. After Franklin (3 H,
6 R, 3 BB) issued a free pass to freshman Preston Hale
that re-loaded the bases, he was replaced by junior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.).
Junior Chad Knight greeted the reliever with an RBI single into left and senior
James Belyea’s fielder’s choice forced Glanville at
home for the first out. However, an errant relay down to first base on the play
by sophomore catcher Cody Neer (Orlando,
Fla.) allowed Hale to score
the fifth run. Edmondson caught freshman Trey Leonard on strikes and Thompson
ripped a two-run double to give UNF a seven-run advantage.
countered with two runs on two hits and an error in the bottom of the frame for
a 7-2 score. Freshman Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
started things off with a single off freshman Ryan McCoy and sophomore Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.)
walked before Pride delivered an RBI single to left field. A fielding error on
the play left runners on second and third and Neer
was hit to load the bases with none out. A free pass to junior Bryson Barber (Pensacola,
Fla.) resulted in UF’s
second run and the Ospreys turned a double play on freshman Jonathan Pigott’s
(Ormond Beach, Fla.) line drive to right field when
Dandridge gunned down Pride at the plate. Senior Chris Petrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) walked to load the bases again with two out and
freshman Clayton Pisani’s
grounder forced Petrie at second.
The Gators closed to within 7-3 in the second on an
RBI single by Barnes. Freshman Matt den
Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) opened with a flare into right and
Figueroa walked, prompting a pitching change. Barnes cranked a single off Stilley for runners on the corners and the lefty countered
with a strikeout of Pride before having Neer ground
into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
A two-run single by Pisani
in the third narrowed the deficit to 7-5. Barber was hit by a pitch and Pigott followed with a single before Petrie’s grounder to
first base pushed his teammates into scoring position. Pisani
stroked a base-knock up the middle to empty the bases.
The Ospreys answered with three runs on four hits
in the fourth to build a 10-5 lead. Jones and Dandridge had consecutive one-out
singles and an RBI hit by Glanville ended the night for Edmondson (3.1 IP, 7 H,
4 R). Senior Kris
Fla.) walked Hale to load the
bases and Knight poked a two-run single into right for a five-run lead for the
Back-to-back singles by Barnes and Pride in the
home part of the fourth prompted a pitching change, as freshman Matt Boyd came
in for Stilley (2.0 IP, 5 H, 2
R). The right-hander had Neer tap into a 6-4-3 double
play and Barber ground out to work out of the jam.
The Gators added a run in the fifth on a grounder
by den Dekker that scored Petrie. The next inning, Barnes legged out an infield
hit and Pride followed with his 10th homer to straightaway center field for a
10-8 score. After Neer was hit by a pitch, Sheppard
came out of the pen and walked Barber. The reliever bounced back with a strikeout
of Petrie and had Pisani hit into an inning-ending
UNF erupted for five unearned runs in the seventh
to take a 15-8 lead, courtesy of a two-out, bases-loaded error and a three-run
homer by Hale. Thompson laced a one-out single off freshman Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) (1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and Wilson welcomed junior Patrick Keating (Harrisburg,
Ill.) with a single before
Jones walked on four pitches. Keating whiffed Dandridge for the second out and
Glanville’s grounder eluded Pisani to bring across a
pair of runs. Hale stepped to the dish and belted a three-run shot into the
left-field bleachers for his first career round-tripper.
The Ospreys out-hit UF, 16-11, as six different
players chipped in with two hits apiece. Barnes (3-for-4) and Pride (3-for-5,
three RBI) paced the Gators. North Florida
also turned a season-high five double plays. The Orange
and Blue travels to Baton Rouge
this weekend for a critical series against LSU (28-21-1/11-12-1 SEC). Florida is currently in
sixth place in the race for the SEC Tournament and the Tigers occupy seventh.
The opener from Alex Box Stadium will be at 8 p.m. and the contest will be
televised on Cox Sports.