UNF edge JU in 6-4 thriller

Ronnesha Rodgers

                                                        Senior Alex Merritt bats. Image courtesy of UNF Athletics.

The Ospreys brought back the Wooden Barrel as the Ospreys took home the victory in game two of the River City Rumble, after a extra innings defeat in  game one.

UNF got things going early in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Yahir Gurrola was on second base when senior Chris Thibideau smacked a double down the left field to bring Gurrola home. Fans cheered as the Ospreys scored the first run of the game, but the Ospreys weren’t done yet.

Thibideau was able to move to third base after a groundout to shortstop by senior Alex Merritt. Thibideau came home after a single was hit down left field giving the Ospreys a 2-0 lead.

For the next three innings, neither the Ospreys nor the Dolphins scored a run. This all changed by the bottom of the fifth.

Senior Patrick Ervin singled to right center. Ervin moved to second after Gurrola was hit by a pitch, sending him to first base. Ervin would get out in the next play, but Gurrola was advanced to second. As a single was hit to left field, Gurrola sprinted his way from second to home, scoring his second run of the game.

Following Gurrola’s actions, Thibideau came running home from second base off a single by Merritt. The single by Merritt marked his 200th career hit.

Greeted with screaming fans and roars of cheer, the Ospreys increase their lead to 4-0 by the end of the fifth.

After five innings without scoring, the Dolphins were finally ready to fight back.

To kick of the sixth inning, the Ospreys walked the the first JU batter. A single to the left left runners on first and second base for the Dolphins.

JU junior Sam Armstrong knocked a home run down the left field bringing three Dolphins home.

The score would be 4-3 at the end of the sixth with the Ospreys still in front. In the top of the seventh the Dolphins brought in another run evening out the score 4-4.

The Ospreys answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Gurrola was up to bat with Ervin on first base when Gurrola hit a home run to the left center breaking the tie.

With the score sitting at 6-4, the Dolphins couldn’t muster the two runs needed between the eighth and ninth inning to catch up. 

The Old Wooden Barrel switches between JU and UNF depending on who wins the games during the year. In the last six years, the Ospreys have had the barrel five times.

The series is now tied 1-1 as the teams prepare to face each other on May 20 for the final game of the series, marking the Ospreys last game of the regular season.


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