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UNF baseball shutout by nationally ranked UF team

The University of North Florida baseball team fell to the #4 nationally-ranked University of Florida in shutout fashion, losing 10-0 in a seven-inning mercy rule in front of a record crowd of 2,509 at Harmon Stadium. 

Before the game, UNF honored former baseball head coach Tim Parenton by having his wife, Sheila, throw the ceremonial first pitch and announcing a scholarship in his honor.

Tim Parenton’s wife, Sheila, threw the first pitch at UNF’s opening baseball game of the 2024 season. (Tristan Larrabee)

Florida scored first with a Jac Caglianone two-run home run off of UNF starting pitcher Tony Roca in the top of the first inning, where the home team pitches first. Roca could not finish the inning after walking UF infielder Dale Thomas, who loaded the bases. 

After manager Joe Mercadante took out Roca, he brought in new Lane Bolton, who proceeded to get out of the inning. Batting for the first time down 2-0, all three Osprey hitters struck out in the bottom of the first inning.

UNF baseball pitcher Tony Roca (Tristan Larrabee)

UF added a third run in the second inning after UNF decided to intentionally walk Caglianone, which allowed catcher Luke Heyman to single in another run. During that inning, North Florida’s third baseman, Connor Moore, made a sliding catch to prevent another Gator run from scoring. 

The Ospreys got two baserunners in the bottom of the second, as junior Cade Bush started the inning with a walk. Matthew Clements followed suit with a single, giving UNF a runner on second base. However, the Ospreys could not plate a run and still trailed 3-0 after two innings. 

After a quiet third inning where neither team got a baserunner, Florida added yet another run off of new UNF pitcher Will Ohme to extend their lead to 4-0. 

Facing a new pitcher in the bottom of the fourth, the Ospreys could not get their first run. Florida took advantage in the fifth inning as the Gators added three more runs due to a couple of singles and doubles. 

Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Ospreys failed to bring home their first run even when leading off the inning with another walk. The Ospreys didn’t get another hit until Connor Moore singled in the bottom of the seventh inning with UF up 10-0. 

But North Florida’s second hit of the night didn’t avail to a run, and the Ospreys were mercy-ruled 10-0 in seven innings.

Facing a nationally ranked team three games into the season can be challenging, as UNF allowed a run in almost every inning and only notched two hits on the night. 

UNF falls to 1-2 in the young season while UF improves to 1-1.

Mercadante’s squad will have a chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday, as they next play a rematch against Florida at 6:30 p.m. in Gainesville.


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

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About the Contributors
Ethan Howick, Sports Reporter
Ethan Howick is a first-year communications major at the University of North Florida. Ethan has a passion for sports journalism with hopes of becoming a journalist and/or broadcaster for a sports media company someday. During his free time, Ethan enjoys spending time with his family and attending many sporting events with friends.
Tristan Larrabee, Reporter
Tristan is a student at the University of North Florida majoring in communications with a concentration in multimedia journalism. With a background that includes 6 years of photography experience, Tristan aspires to one day be a photographer for the NFL.

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