UNF 7, FLORIDA 1
Gainesville, FL- Florida’s offense was silent for much of the night in Tampa on Tuesday and the Gators followed suit on Wednesday. One day after managing a single run against USF, Florida equaled that performance against a North Florida team that is already making a case for post-season play.
The Gators started freshman RHP Christian Scott on the mound, but he only lasted two innings before giving way to a valiant bullpen effort (until the top of the ninth). Unfortunately, the Gators were unable to fight all the way back after falling behind early.
Florida will host Miami for a three game series. The Gators will have to find an offense rather fast as the Hurricanes outscored Rutgers 35-7 on the opening weekend.
The Ospreys scored a run in each of the first three innings. UNF loaded the bases on freshman pitcher Christian Scott after a taylor-made double play ball was bobbled by second baseman Christian Flint. The error proved costly as UNF’s next batter, Jay Prather singled home the first run of the contest.
UNF SS Tanner May crushed a 2-1 offering from Scott for a solo homer to increase the Ospeys lead to 2-0.
Freshman RHP Ben Spect came on in the third inning only to see the first hitter he faced crush a no-doubt homer into the parking lot behind the left-field stands. Spect settled down, however, and pitched two innings of scoreless ball afterwards.
Florida had an opportunity in the fifth before finally capitalizing in the sixth. The Gators had runners on first and third in the fifth, but SS Brady McConnell lined out to left to end the threat.
In the sixth, Nelson Maldonado led off the frame with a single which was followed by another single from Wil Dalton. Dalton’s base hit moved Maldonado to third and set up a Cory Acton sac fly to move the Gators within two of North Florida.
The Ospreys got a lot of insurance in the top half of the ninth as 3B Chris Berry hit a three-run moonshot that landed on the top half of the scoreboard behind the right field wall. Florida trailed 7-1 going into their final at-bat.
Despite a leadoff walk by Kendrick Calilao, the next three Gators hitters each struck out to end the ball game.
- Starting catcher Santino Miozzi finished 2-2 with a pair of singles and a walk in only the second start of his career.
- RHP David Luethje made his first appearance in relief and retired all nine Ospreys batters he faced.
- Florida recorded eight hits one day after only reaching twice on hits.
- Freshman Nick Pogue pitched the final two innings of the game and struck out the side in his first inning of work. Pogue finished with five strikeouts in two innings of work.
- Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan: “[I] kind of knew that this would be two difficult ballgames… We knew we were going to throw a bunch of freshman [tonight]…the thing that’s been hurting us is some mistakes that we were normally not making coming into the season. We had a double-play ball that we missed [that could have] gotten Christian out of the inning.”
- OF/DH Nelson Maldonado: “I dont want to use the excuse that we are young, i feel like each and everyone of these players is ready to play at this level.
W: Ethan Michaelis (1-0)
L: Scott (0-1)