SUNDAY, MAY 06, 2007
Baseball rallies to defeat North Florida, 9-8, in 10 innings
May 6, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After rallying from an early deficit, having a three-run lead blown in the ninth and trailing by a run heading into its final at-bat, the JU baseball team rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat North Florida, 9-8, Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Sun Trust River City Rumble at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (25-24, 10-11) snapped a five-game losing streak by pounding out 16 hits, including four in their final at-bat, to overcome a 4-0 deficit in the third inning and an 8-7 deficit in the bottom of the 10th.
UNF (19-28, 9-12) evened the game in the top of the ninth when Jimmy Glanville connected on a three-run homer with two outs but the Osprey bullpen could not hold for the third consecutive game.
Trailing 8-7 with one out in the bottom of the 10th, junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira drew a walk on a 3-2 count and then moved to second on a single through the right side by Opachich. Senior left fielder Pete Clifford followed with a single through the right side to load the bases.
In the next at-bat, McCallister tied the game with a single to center on a 1-2 pitch to keep the bases loaded. With two outs, sophomore catcher Brad Simmons hit an RBI single past the bag at second base to end the game.
"I'm proud of how we fought back in this game today," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We had our backs against the wall on several occasions but we kept after it. We could have easily hung out heads after they tied it in the ninth and then trailing by a run in extra innings, but we didn't."
Junior Adam Rapoza (2-1) earned the win after allowing one run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 1.1 innings of relief. Junior Matt Davis got the no-decision in his first start after allowing four runs on six hits with three walks and a career-high trying seven strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Clifford led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI while freshman designated hitter Chuck Opachich also added three hits. Freshman first baseman Alex Martinez, senior third baseman Thomas LePage and senior second baseman Logan James also finished with multiple hits.
Antonio Franzese (1-4), who earned a save in each of the first games of the series, was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in 0.2 innings of work. John Atteo earned the no-decision after allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout in 4.2 innings. TJ Thompson went 3-for-6 six and Glanville belted two home runs and four RBI to lead the Ospreys.
The Ospreys jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first when two runners scored on a passed ball and Preston Hale drove in a run with a single through the left side. With the bases loaded, Davis's pitch appeared to hit the foot of Travis Martin but the ball rolled towards the Dolphin dugout which allowed two runs to score.
UNF made it 4-0 in the top of the third when Jimmy Glanville led off the inning with a solo home run to right-center field.
JU cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the third when junior shortstop Ben Kerr scored from third on a balk by Atteo and Clifford drove in a run with a bloop single to center.
Kerr drew a walk to lead off the inning and James pulled a single through the right side. After both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt to third by Ferreira, Atteo balked to move both runners and give JU its first run. With two outs, Clifford fought off a pitch to center which dropped in front of a sliding Brian Wilson in center.
The Dolphins made it 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth when senior catcher Jimmy Potucek hit an RBI single to right center.
Martinez led off the inning with a double to left center and then scored on Potucek's single. Martinez looked to be gunned down at the plate but he stuck his hand under the tag before colliding with catcher James Belyea.
JU tied the contest in the bottom of the fifth when Clifford hit a solo shot over the scoreboard in right field on a 2-2 pitch with two outs. For Clifford, it was his team-leading 10th homer of the season.
The Dolphins took their first lead of the contest, 6-4, in the bottom of the sixth when James hit an RBI single through the right side and Opachich hit an RBI single to right.
With one out, LePage pulled a single to right center and then moved to third on a single to right by Kerr. James followed with a single to right to give the Dolphins the lead before Opachich pushed a single to right with the bases loaded.
JU made it 7-4 in the bottom of the eighth when Clifford drove in Kerr from third with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Ospreys tied the contest, 7-7, top of the ninth when Glanville hit a three-run homer on a 3-1 count with two outs.
UNF took an 8-7 lead in the top of the 10th when Thompson ripped an RBI single to center with a man on second base.