Osprey baseball falls to JU in first game of series

Ronnesha Rodgers

Photo courtesy of UNF Athletics

After going into extra innings, the Ospreys fell to rivals Jacksonville University Dolphins in the first game of their three-game series on May 18.

Things got heated in the beginning of the game after one umpire called a Dolphin player out at first base. Unhappy with the call, a JU coach talked to the umpire about the call. Fans of the Dolphins began to boo the umpire, while Osprey fans booed the JU coach.

“You just want some attention don’t you,” yelled one fan sporting a UNF t-shirt. This was one of the few comments targeted toward the JU coach during the tense moment.

The JU coach began to get upset yelling and waving his arms around during the conversation, but he quickly calmed down and returned to the dugout not trying to get ejected. Once things calmed down the game started again.

The game started off slow for both teams going scoreless in the first and second innings, but that would all change come the third inning.

At the top of the third, the Dolphins were able to get the first run of the night when Chris Lehane pushed home from third base off an out at first base.

The Ospreys would answer with the own run in the bottom of the third. At the spur of the moment, junior Mac Wilson stole third base bringing the Ospreys one step closer to scoring. Junior Yahir Gurrola smacked a single down the middle of the field bringing Wilson home, leaving the gametied 1-1 at the end of the third inning.

Not backing down, the Dolphins picked up another run in the fourth and fifth innings.

After two straight strikeouts, senior Alex Merritt broke the silence with a home run. The stadium erupted in cheers and applause and Merritt was congratulated by teammates and coaches who came outside the dugout.

The game then moved to 3-2 with the Ospreys trailing by the end of the fifth. Neither teams would score for the next two innings.

In the eighth, second baseman Patrick Ervin came running across home plate to tie the game 3-3 with only one inning remaining.

In the ninth, Lehane was able to add another run to the Dolphins score when he ran home after a bunt by a fellow teammate.

Dolphin fans went crazy as the Dolphins took the lead 4-3 in the top of the ninth.

Once it was the Ospreys turn at bat the fans began to cheer louder for the players.

Merritt, who hit a home run earlier in the game, was able to hit a single. Back to back singles brought Merritt home, tieing the game 4-4 at the end of the ninth. With the game tied, the Ospreys and the Dolphin were forced into extra innings.

After the announcement of extra innings many fans began to leave in large groups.

In the tenth inning, neither team would score, forcing an eleventh inning.

With two outs in the top of the eleventh the Ospreys ended up walking JU’s Dakota Julylia. Julylia advanced to second base after a single. With Julylia on third, outfielder Nathan Koslowski was able to send a single down the left field. Julylia ran passed third and pushed himself to the home plate. With the ball coming his way Julylia dove to home plate and was called safe.

The run broke the tie making the score 5-4.

The Ospreys would bat after the Dolphins, but they were unable to score. The Ospreys will face them again on Friday, May 19 at 4 p.m. and again on May 20 at 1 p.m.

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