SATURDAY, MAY 05, 2007
Baseball falls to North Florida, 8-5
May 5, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore catcher Brad Simmons connected on two home runs to spark a late rally but the Dolphins could not overcome five unearned runs on four errors as North Florida defeated the JU baseball team, 8-5, Saturday evening in the second game of the Sun Trust River City Rumble at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (24-24, 9-11), has now committed 10 errors which have led to 12 unearned runs for the Ospreys, did not record a hit until the fourth inning and did not score a run until the sixth.
UNF (19-27, 9-11) captured the River City Rumble Old Wooden Barrel by taking the series.
Junior Matt Gardner (5-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work.
Freshman Alex Martinez led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-3 while Simmons drove in two run with a pair of solo homers. Senior left fielder Pete Clifford drove in a team-high three runs with his ninth home run of the season.
Derek Bell (3-2) earned the win after allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in six innings. Bell had a perfect game going through three innings until Martinez connected on the first JU hit in the bottom of the fourth. Antonio Franzese notched his second game in as many days by getting the final two outs in the ninth.
Preston Hale led the Ospreys by going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI while Travis Martin finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run driven in.
"Once again, we gave them too many opportunities," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Our offense came back to life a little bit but it was too late for us."
The Ospreys jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Preston Hale hit a two-run double to right center with the bases loaded.
UNF pushed the lead to 3-0 in the top of the third after Brian Wilson hit a double down the left-field line and then scored on the play when an errant throw from the outfield rolled to UNF dugout.
The Ospreys increased the margin to 7-0 in the top of the fourth after scoring four runs on three hits while taking advantage of two Dolphin errors.
UNF pushed the lead to 8-0 in the top of the fifth when James Belyea hit an RBI grounder to short.
JU cut the deficit to 8-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Clifford connected on a three-run homer to right field. With two outs, junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira drew a walk and then moved to second on a single up the middle by Martinez. Clifford followed with a drive to right on a 1-1 pitch to clear the bases.
The Dolphins made it 8-4 in the bottom of the seventh when Simmons connected on a solo homer to right center. Simmons connected again while leading off the ninth to cut the lead to 8-5. For Simmons, it was his fourth and fifth home run of the season.
The Dolphins and Ospreys will complete their series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The contest can be heard live on WZNZ, AM 1460 with Barry Milligan calling all the action. The Dolphin Pre-Game Show will air at 12:15 p.m. JU will also be taking donations for "Ray of Light" with the proceeds going towards JU Hall of Fame basketball player, James E. Ray.