Ospreys rout Stetson to advance in ASUN tourney

Riley Platt, Reporter

Featured Image: Justin Nedrow

Sometimes, strong starts are everything in baseball. Despite getting down early, UNF utilized a wild bottom half of the first inning to take complete control of Saturday’s game to take the series from Stetson, advancing to the next round in the ASUN tournament.

Following a close win by UNF in game one on Friday, the Stetson Hatters faced a must-win situation. Taking the mound for UNF was Tony Roca, while Garner Spoljaric did the same for Stetson. The Hatters wasted no time, pushing two runs across the board in the top of the first with the help of a few walks by Roca.

 LHP Tony Roca pitched seven innings and only gave up two runs on two hits. (Justin Nedrow)

This wasn’t an ideal start for UNF, but things would quickly change. In what can only be described as a nightmare for the Hatters, seven walks and a bases-clearing Abraham Sequera double brought eight runs across the board for the Ospreys in the bottom of the first.

This bottom half of the frame was demoralizing for Stetson. The Hatters would have to come up with at least six more runs to have a chance at prolonging their season. Unfortunately for them, Roca was locked in after a rough first inning. The sophomore was dealing, throwing six scoreless innings throughout the rest of the afternoon.

Adding fuel to the fire, Cade Westbrook brought in another run on an RBI fielder’s choice to put UNF up 9-2. In the opposing dugout, finding offense was difficult to come by. The Hatters only picked up two hits on the day, thanks to Roca’s stellar performance.

Picking up the tab and finishing the impressive pitching effort for UNF were relievers Darrin Kilfoyl and Eddie Miller, throwing an inning each. With the bullpen holding it down, the Ospreys ultimately prevailed 9-2. 

UNF now advances to the next round of the ASUN tournament, taking the series in a two-game sweep. The remaining four teams will duke it out in a double-elimination format at UNF’s Harmon Stadium to determine the champion. UNF awaits its opponent pending the result of Bellarmine and Liberty’s series, as well as the rubber game between FGCU and Jacksonville tomorrow in Fort Myers.

With home-field advantage, the Ospreys will go to work starting Thursday. Tickets can be purchased through UNF, with ASUN students granted free admission. All games will be available to stream via ESPN+ for fans who can’t make it to the ballpark. Follow along with Spinnaker for the latest on UNF baseball.


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