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Mercy rule secures UNF baseball a series win over Seton Hall

The UNF baseball team defeated the Seton Hall Pirates last weekend by winning two out of three games at Harmon Stadium. 

The Ospreys’ early offense led them to hold off Seton Hall in a 6-4 win Friday night. UNF’s pitching faltered in game two, and the Ospreys lost 11-4 Saturday afternoon. However, North Florida left no doubt in the series finale, shutting out Seton Hall 11-0 to clinch the series win Sunday morning. 

Game 1

Osprey starting pitcher Peter Holden was effective in his outing. He retired the first six Pirate hitters and did not allow a hit until a one-out single in the fourth inning. North Florida’s bats backed up Holden, with UNF striking early and often. 

On the offensive side, the Ospreys drew first blood with a Cade Bush homer deep into left field against Pirate pitcher Daniel Frontera. North Florida opened the second inning with four straight hits, and nine men came to the plate, culminating in a five-run inning. 

This was technically all the Ospreys needed to win the game. Seton Hall attempted to chip away at the UNF lead by scoring three runs in the fifth and another in the seventh, but this wasn’t enough to tie the game. 

After a Tripp McKinlay single added a much-needed insurance run in the eighth, UNF could hold on for the 6-4 series-opening win. 

Game 2 

Seton Hall stymied Saturday starter Clayton Boroski by scoring a run in the first inning after a walk and double. The Ospreys answered right back in the bottom of the frame, matching the Pirates with a Jakob Runnels solo home run. 

Following the 1-1 tie after one, no run was scored until the fourth inning, when the Pirates blew the game open with a three-run homer, ending Boroski’s day on the mound. Seton Hall added another three-run homer in the fifth, this time off of new UNF pitcher Will Ohme. 

Pitcher Clayton Boroski had a rough outing in game 2, giving up a three-run homer that ultimately ended his time pitching. (Justin Nedrow)

Seton Hall hit four home runs in the game and scored 10 of their 11 runs between the fourth and eighth innings. The Ospreys attempted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, but the four runs scored were not enough and Seton Hall won game two 11-4. 

Game 3 

The Ospreys left no doubt in the rubber match, a term used for the final game of a tied series. North Florida scored first, plating two runs after a Runnels double in the first inning. UNF starter Tony Roca had an immaculate outing, pitching six scoreless innings and only surrendering two hits. 

North Florida added two more runs in the third inning after a Cherokee Nichols walk and a McKinlay single set up two RBI opportunities. The Ospreys’ big inning came in the fifth, where the first five players reached base, already giving UNF two more runs.  

The eventual mercy rule was triggered by Runnels’s bases-loaded triple, which gave UNF three runs and extended their lead to 10-0 after five innings. The common mercy rule in college baseball is a 10+ run lead after seven innings. 

Roca and new pitcher Lane Bolton could hold the Pirates scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, which secured the 10-0 mercy rule win for the Ospreys. UNF has won three straight weekend series and improved their record to 9-6 on the young season. 

North Florida will now travel to Tallahassee to face the Florida A&M Rattlers on Tuesday at 4 p.m.


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.
Riley Platt, Sports Editor
Riley Platt is a senior University of North Florida multimedia journalism student. A lifelong Jacksonville native, Riley has always had a burning passion for sports, specifically at the collegiate level. He grew up coming to UNF basketball games as early as his middle school days and now gets to cover the Ospreys, living out his childhood dreams. Riley's done a bit of everything with Spinnaker, whether it be writing over 200 articles, doing play-by-play commentary for UNF basketball and even serving as a sports anchor for Spinnaker TV’s weekly Nest News. Riley transitioned from Spinnaker to an internship at the end of the summer 2023 semester and is expected to graduate at the end of 2023. 

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