Baseball punishes USF in mercy-rule win

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

The University of North Florida Ospreys took on the University of South Florida Bulls on Tuesday for the second time this month, winning 10-0 in a game that was never close.

These two squads last faced off on April 4, with the Ospreys snagging a 5-4 win in extra innings thanks to a clutch hit by catcher Jakob Runnels. The Winter Haven, Fla. native made his presence known again, drilling a three-run homer in the first inning to give UNF an early lead. 

Will Ohme was given the start at pitcher for Tim Parenton’s squad, a decision that they did not regret. The redshirt senior carved through the USF lineup, collecting five strikeouts in four-plus scoreless innings.

While the Bulls struggled to get anything going at the plate, the Ospreys kept on swinging. A trio of RBI singles from Gabriel Esquivel, Aidan Sweatt and Cherokee Nichols to push the UNF lead to 7-0 after just three innings. 

Stability on the mound was a key factor in UNF’s dominance, but the Bulls did not have this luxury. The Osprey onslaught saw USF utilize five pitchers, with each seeing an average of just 0.71 innings each. 

UNF baseball players high-five each other
With Tuesday’s win, the Ospreys improve to 20-16 on the season. (Justin Nedrow)

They may have had a large lead, but the Ospreys weren’t done just yet. Esquivel made his mark again, knocking in his second run of the night with a single in the fourth inning. The fifth inning came and went without incident, with senior Tony Roca now in control of pitching duties for UNF.

It was Nichols who finished off the scoring barrage in the sixth inning, driving in two runs on a single that pushed the Osprey lead to 10-0. After the seventh inning was completed, the game was ruled final due to run rule. 

If any team is leading by 10 or more runs after seven innings, the game is called.

This was the case for a victorious Ospreys squad, who has now beaten USF in seven-straight showdowns. While a non-conference win like this is impressive, it’s ASUN play that has troubled UNF this season. Their next conference game will be on Friday as they hit the road for a weekend series against Liberty University.

Before then, though, they’ll be faced with Florida State University. While normally a daunting task, it has been a bit of a down year for the Seminoles. Even still, facing off against a traditional ACC powerhouse will be a great opportunity for the Ospreys to show just what they’ve got.

The Ospreys last took down FSU in 2021 and will look to do it again Wednesday, this time on campus with home-field advantage.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].