Miscues plague Ospreys in blowout loss to JU

Riley Platt, Reporter

Featured Image: Justin Nedrow

With the regular season winding down, the Ospreys took one last trip across town to face the Jacksonville University Dolphins. Friday’s lovely weather didn’t translate to the game for UNF, as JU throttled the Ospreys in their final regular-season meeting of 2021.

Starting at pitcher for UNF was junior right-hander Max McKinley, while senior Tyler Santana did so for JU. The Ospreys sought their seventh win against the Dolphins this season, taking all six previous meetings. Neither offense could get much going in the first, as both teams picked up a hit while stranding a baserunner. The elements played a role, as Abraham Sequera hoped to take advantage of the blinding sun but was ultimately caught stealing second.

 The Ospreys had a tough time scoring runs on Friday, tallying only two runs on five hits (Justin Nedrow)

The bottom of the second would play host to the game’s first scoring, as JU got things rolling with a hit by Cory Heffron falling in left-center. A passed ball allowed Heffron to advance to second, a mistake that would soon hurt the Ospreys. An RBI single by Elias Flowers would give JU a 1-0 lead. A hard-hit ball by Michael Grabsky advanced the runner to third, who would score when UNF failed to turn a double play, something they’ve excelled at throughout the year.

UNF would get things together in the top of the third, capitalizing on JU blunders. A chopper hit by Isaiah Byars advanced Austin Bogart to third base, who would subsequently score on a wild pitch to narrow JU’s lead to 2-1. Any smiles would soon be wiped off the Ospreys’ faces thanks to a nightmare of a bottom of the third. Some well-placed hits, compounded by fielding errors, allowed JU to pick up four runs, bolstering their lead to 6-1. 

Typical UNF starter Tony Roca came in for a relief effort in the bottom of the third, quickly restoring order and ending the disastrous inning. A lead-off double by Alex Kachler would go to waste, with UNF stranding the power hitter at second. 

The bottom of the fourth would spell trouble for the Ospreys yet again, as a rare misfielding by Abraham Sequera, whose vision was shielded by the advancing baserunner, put JU in striking position again. A rough night became rougher, as a three-run homer by Christian Coipel increased JU’s lead to 9-1 through just four innings.

Things wouldn’t improve in the fifth, with the Dolphins picking up where they left off. The opponent loading the bases with no outs is never a good sign, and this occurrence was no different. Blake Marabell was just out of reach on a ball hit to right-center, allowing two runs to score. A sacrifice fly by Ruben Someillan would prolong the suffering, making it a 12-1 lead for the Dolphins.

UNF would score in the top of the sixth, but the one-run inning amounted to a drop in the ocean given the circumstances. An RBI single by Cade Westbrook brought in Kachler, cutting JU’s lead to 12-2. Roca would lock in for the top of the sixth, throwing UNF’s first scoreless inning since the bottom of the first.

Yet again, the Ospreys would waste another lead-off double, as Aidan Sweatt was stranded at second. This would see Santana’s night on the mound come to an end, allowing only two runs off four hits. Taking over for Santana was Adrian Garrastazu, a junior southpaw. With some help from a spectacular defensive play by Dakota Julylia, Garrastazu made quick work of the UNF batting order.

Taking over at pitcher for UNF in the bottom of the eighth was Austin Bogart, who had previously played right field throughout the evening. Bogart was able to get through with no runs, but the Ospreys only had three more outs to make something happen. Blake Marabell roped a double down the line, but nothing would come of it as the JU Dolphins took the ballgame 12-2.

Other than bragging rights, this loss will luckily not have much of an effect on UNF. Having already locked up the second seed in the ASUN South Division, the Ospreys will now look to end the regular season on a positive note with a good showing against Stetson on Sunday. The game will start at 3:05 p.m. and is open with free admission to the first 250 fans. Follow along with Spinnaker for the latest on UNF baseball.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].