JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville turned a game-ending double play with the bases loaded to take game two of a three game series against rival North Florida by a 6-5 final on Saturday at Harmon Stadium. The victory marks the fourth straight Atlantic Sun Conference win for the Dolphins who will go for a series sweep for the first time this season on Sunday at 1:00 pm. Tomorrow’s game can be heard live on 92.5 FM with the pregame show starting at 12:45 pm.
Jacksonville (10-19; 5-6 A-Sun) carried a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but North Florida (14-17; 5-6 A-Sun) did not go away quietly. The Dolphins led 6-3 going into the inning before the Ospreys loaded up the bases with no outs. A ground ball to first brought the first run home before a walk and a hit batter scored another. With the bases still loaded senior Adam Maxon (Oviedo, Fla.) got the ground ball he needed as a customary 6-4-3 double play closed out the game and brought a pod of Dolphins leaping onto the field in excitement.
“It was an exciting moment and a huge win for us,” said Connor Marabell of the game winning double play. “The double play was huge, Angelo (Amendolare) had a good turn so I just made sure I caught the throw from (Alex) Seifert.”
Maxon earned his sixth save of the season for starter Josh Baker (Sussex, Wis.) who improved to 3-1. Baker went 6.1 innings allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
I was getting a head in the count and throwing first pitch strikes so I could come back with an off speed pitch and keep them off balanced,” said Baker who threw 57 of his 80 pitches for strikes. “I knew the whole game the defense was going to be behind me so I just kept throwing and letting them make contact because I knew they’d be there to make a play.”
Marabell (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored two keys runs for the Dolphins while also catching the final out at first base. Marabell went 1-for-4 on the day scoring on an error after he stole third in the second to tie the game and adding a go-ahead home run to right center in the sixth, his third of the year.
After Marabell gave Jacksonville the 2-1 lead in the sixth, the Dolphins added three more in the seventh, including a RBI double from off Cameron Gibson (Conyers, Ga.), to build a 5-1 advantage. The double, Gibson’s second in as many days and his seventh of the season capped a 2-for-5 game. Junior Angelo Amendolare (Edgewater, Fla.) added a RBI single in the frame just before Gibson came around to score on a wild pitch for the 5-1 lead.
The Ospreys got two back in the bottom of the inning before Zach Gordon (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was called in to close out the inning. Facing runners on the corners with one out Gordon, retired the first batter on a sac fly and the next on a ground ball before working a 1-2-3 8th.
The Dolphins added the needed insurance run in the top of the eighth off the bat of freshman Alex Seifert (Lakeland, Fla.) for the 6-3 lead. Seifert reached on a bunt single down the first base line to score Braddock Rowe (Jacksonville, Fla.) after he singled to lead off the inning.
Jacksonville had 13 hits in the game led by Scott Schaub (Ocala, Fla.) who was 3-for-5. Nate Ricci (Madison, Wis.) went 2-for-3 with a run scored as well.
“It’s great to start off with these two wins, we’re almost back to .500 in the conference and we’re just starting to get hot,” added Marabell.
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