Ospreys can’t complete sweep, but take crucial series from Stetson

Riley Platt, Reporter

As the 2021 season nears the finish line, every win becomes ever so important. While UNF baseball may not have pulled off the sweep, they were still able to pick up their second series win against the Stetson Hatters this season.

With the ASUN tournament approaching, this series played a crucial role in the seeding for the Ospreys. Thanks to the series win, though, UNF secured the second seed in the South Division. This ensures that they will yet again face off against third-seeded Stetson in the tournament after the regular season’s conclusion.

 The Ospreys locked up the number two seed in the conference with the series win over Stetson (Justin Nedrow)

Just like many of their previous meetings, game one proved to be a thriller. The Hatters got off to a quick start, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Ospreys didn’t take long to respond, though, with Alex Kachler hitting a two-run home run to tie things at 2-2 in the bottom of the first.

The Hatters would retake the lead in the fourth inning with an RBI single. Yet again, UNF had an answer: an RBI double by Aidan Sweatt, knotting things back up at 3-3. The fifth inning would see the Ospreys take their first lead of the evening when a two-run home run by Abraham Sequera gave UNF a 5-3 lead.

Stetson would tie the game back up in the sixth inning, but the critical moment would come in the bottom of the eighth, with Alex Kachler scoring the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. This put the Ospreys up 6-5, a lead they would hold on to, taking the first game 6-5.

Game two got off to a much slower start offensively, with the first scoring coming in the bottom of the third. An Austin Bogart home run put UNF up 1-0, a lead that they would continue to build on. The Ospreys would expand this lead to 3-0 through seven innings, with Stetson’s first run coming in the eighth.

Stetson would use this momentum to tie the game 3-3. The lead that once seemed so strong was now gone; were the Ospreys going to blow another lead? Fortunately, Blake Marabell’s go-ahead home run put UNF back on top 5-3. This wasn’t the only heroics courtesy of Marabell in this contest, as a spectacular home run robbery in the top of the seventh.

After taking the first two games, one more win on Sunday was needed to complete the sweep. This feat isn’t always easy to come by, though. The Hatters were in complete control early on, leading 2-0 through the first four innings. UNF would finally strike in the bottom of the fifth when a Justin Holmes RBI single drove in Cade Westbrook. 

Now within a run, the Ospreys began to turn the tides throughout the middle innings. A Tanner Clark RBI single tied the game at two runs apiece in the bottom of the fifth. The next inning would see UNF take a 3-2 lead courtesy of a Westbrook RBI single. 

The Hatters took back control in the top of the eighth, taking a 4-3 lead. UNF was able to respond, though, on an RBI single by Sweatt to tie the game. Major mistakes by the Ospreys on defense cost them dearly, allowing Stetson to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth. Unfortunately, UNF couldn’t get anything going offensively in the bottom frame and dropped the rubber match.

A sweep would have been grand, but the Ospreys got the job done and secured the 2-seed for the upcoming ASUN tournament. The Ospreys hit the road on Friday to face the Jacksonville Dolphins and then host Stetson again on Sunday in one-off games before hosting Stetson in the tournament on the weekend of May 21. Follow along with Spinnaker for the latest on UNF baseball.


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