Ospreys take down USC Upstate Spartans

Spinnaker

The key component to the UNF baseball team’s 6-2 victory against the University of South Carolina Upstate Spartans May 10 was left-handed junior pitcher Michael Kelly’s six innings of pitching with no runs allowed.

“Kelly is coming back from Tommy John [reconstructive elbow] surgery and he really put a lot of effort into this game and never let up,” head coach Dusty Rhodes said.

Another Osprey that turned up the heat was junior outfielder Justin Preckajlo with a pair of home runs and collected four hits throughout the doubleheaders with a season finale that included a four-for-five showing at the plate. Knocking out two singles, a double and a triple, Preckajlo also hit a .500 for the weekend and pounded out eight home runs. Five of those went for extra bases.

Before UNF took a 5-0 advantage early in the game and fought hard for the win, both teams split a doubleheader that weekend.

“We scored early in the game, despite the fact that they had their best pitcher at the start of the game,” Rhodes said. “Taking advantage of the opportunities they messed up on really helped us.”

Preckajlo’s infield single lead off the top of the second inning was the start of multiple scoring opportunities for UNF, as he eventually came around to score when freshman infielder Steve Hillian reached a throwing error. Junior catcher David Eldredge also scored on the play to give the Ospreys a 2-0 lead.

At the top of the third inning, scoring three runs on three straight doubles by junior outfielder Preston Hale, junior infielder TJ Thompson and Preckajlo along with an RBI groundout by sophomore left handed pitcher Robbie Collier were on a role to keep the game in UNF’s favor.

Kelly only had four hits and two walks in six innings and in the seventh gave away senior right-handed pitcher Ty Pryor to finish the competition he started.

Pryor allowed two runs in the eighth and ninth innings but never allowed the Spartans to catch up in the three-inning save.

Slamming out 10 hits in the win, Eldredge and Hale each collected two hits a piece.

The Ospreys will return to action on May 12 as they travel to South Florida to complete a game that was suspended due to weather. UNF held a 7-6 lead in the game when play was suspended. Following that game UNF will take on the USF Bulls for another match at 7 p.m.