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UNF Baseball swept by Bellarmine in three-game road series

The UNF baseball team had a rough weekend on the road in Louisville. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, they lost three games to a prominent Atlantic Sun rival, the Bellarmine University Knights.

Game 1

Bellarmine wasted no time getting points on the board in the series opener. Following a scoreless UNF inning at the top of the first, the Knights struck gold thanks to a two-RBI homer from Casey Sorg to make it 2-0. After loading the bases, Bellarmine struck again to end the bottom of the first with an unearned score from Luke Scales, thanks to a balk from UNF pitcher Brett Dennis to make it 3-0.

After adding a run in the third inning and two each in the fifth and sixth, the Ospreys found themselves down 8-0, remaining scoreless until the eighth inning—an eighth inning, however, where they burst onto the scene. 

At the top of the eighth, Jabin Bates hit a two-RBI double that allowed baserunners Cade Reich and Matthew Clements to score, giving North Florida its first game points. Then, after loading the bases, Cherokee Nichols hit a single down the right side that allowed Bates to score from third, making it 8-3.

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The run soon increased to five after Drew Leinenbach hit a two-RBI triple that saw Tripp McKinlay and Nichols score. Following this,  the run was quickly capped off at six, where Lienenbach scored to make it 8-6. 

Despite nearly closing the gap, Bellarmine put up four runs at the bottom of the inning, and with UNF left scoreless in the ninth, Bellarmine secured the victory 6-12.

Game 2

In the second game of the series, Bellarmine once again came out packing a punch. After notching a 2-0 lead after the first inning, the Knights exploded at the bottom of the second. Will Aubel hit a single to the right side.

However, a UNF fielding error allowed two Bellarmine players to score from third, increasing their lead to five. The second inning was capped off with two more runs, thanks to RBIs from Sorg and Scales, to make it 7-0.

This, however, is where the Ospreys began to come back. UNF scored a combined 10 points in the third, fourth and fifth innings, capped off by an RBI single from Finn Howell. Bellarmine only scored three in this stretch, and North Florida ended the fifth inning with the lead, 10-9.

UNF exploded in the third, fourth and fifth innings, putting up a total 10 runs. (Tristan Larrabee)

However, the sixth inning sealed a hostile fate for the Ospreys. At the bottom of the inning, Bellarmine struck with a three-RBI triple from Sorg to regain the lead. Then, Reed Blaszczyk sealed the sixth with an RBI single. 

This proved enough to win it, as the remaining three innings went scoreless from both sides, and the Knights pulled out the win 14-10.

Game 3

The scoring was significantly more consistent in the series finale than in the previous two games. UNF started with a run each in both the first and second innings. This was a good start, but after scoring two in the first, a Sorg RBI single followed by a three-RBI double from Scales at the bottom of the second kept Bellarmine at a significant advantage, up 6-2.

Each team scored two runs in the third, but an explosive fourth inning saw UNF close the gap quickly. A single from Cade Bush and a fielder’s choice to second from Howell saw RBIs. Then, Leinenbach scored on a wild pitch to tie things up at eight a piece. Bellarmine scored at the bottom of the inning to keep their lead just by one, 9-8.

From this point on, consistency proved to be the key to victory. North Florida remained scoreless in the remaining four innings, allowing Bellarmine to comfortably grow their lead with a run in the fifth and two in the seventh, causing Bellarmine to win the game and pull off the weekend sweep, 12-8.

Following these three losses, the Ospreys are 14-12 and 4-5 in ASUN conference play. The team is currently seventh in the ASUN standings.

North Florida will again hit the road on Wednesday to face the UCF Knights at 6 p.m. before returning to Dusty Rhodes Field this weekend to face off against Eastern Kentucky in a three-game series on Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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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
Jacob Justice
Jacob Justice, Sports Editor
Jacob Justice is a third-year multimedia journalism major at the University of North Florida. First joining as a sports reporter, Jacob is now Spinnaker's sports editor. Jacob has a passion for sportswriting and hopes to write as a journalist for a sports media company in the future. In his free time, he tends to enjoy playing guitar and bass as well as spending quality time 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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