JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University baseball fell behind early and could not stack together enough hits to erase the deficit in falling 8-2 to North Florida Thursday night at John Sessions Stadium.
The Dolphins (16-10, 0-1) were out-hit by 10 in dropping the opening night game of ASUN Conference play to the cross-town rival Ospreys (14-13, 1-0).
"They took advantage of some opportunities and we didn't do a good enough job of keeping the innings small," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "They did a really good job offensively and on the mound."
A bloop double to right field by the second batter faced by Spencer Stockton (1-4) set up Blake Voyles to double down the left field line and give UNF a 1-0 lead in the first. No one scored again until the fourth, when Chris Berry led off the inning with a walk, followed by three consecutive singles, the last of which did not leave the infield, but plated a run. Two batters later Dalton Board doubled into the right centerfield gap, and it was 4-0 Ospreys.
JU got one back in the bottom half of that inning, as Ruben Someillan led off with an infield single, JU's first hit of the night off Frank German, and he went to second on a throwing error. Another infield single from Scott Dubrule set up Angel Camacho to drive in the Dolphins' first run of the evening.
UNF ended Stockton's night in the seventh, when Board singled to lead off the frame, and after a flyout to center, Voyles walked on a full count. Austin Temple relieved Stockton, but after retiring the first batter, he surrendered an RBI single and double.
Cory Garrastazu walked to start the bottom of the seventh, advanced to second on a balk and third on a wild pitch before Franco Guardascione scored him on a groundout to third. That made it 6-2, but would also do it for the Dolphin offense on the night.
"German did a great job of keeping our hitters off balance, pounding the zone and he was really good at missing barrels," said Hayes.
UNF scored two more in the top of the ninth to build the final margin.
Jacksonville sends Chris Gau to the mound tomorrow night to try and even the series at one.
"Tomorrow's another day," said Hayes. "We feel really good about what Gau has accomplished lately and we're going to give it everything we got."
First pitch is at 7 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium. It is Jumbo Shrimp night at the ballpark, with representatives from the Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate on hand for promotions all night long. The game also airs on ESPN3.