Baseball fails to capitalize on baserunners, loses to Florida

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida Ospreys outhit the University of Florida Gators, but weren’t able to turn these scoring chances into runs on Tuesday, falling 7-2.

The Ospreys were well aware that the Gators, ranked No. 5 in the nation, weren’t going to be an easy opponent. The high-powered UF squad has barreled through opponents so far this season, averaging just over 11 runs per game.

Despite the daunting Gators offense, it was UNF that struck first in front of a Gator crowd of nearly 5,000 fans. Catcher Jakob Runnels, who leads UNF in batting average, provided a sacrifice groundout that scored second baseman Aidan Sweatt, giving the Ospreys a 1-0 lead in the first inning. 

The Ospreys doubled down in the top of the third, scoring another run off of a double by outfielder Cade Reich to boost the lead to 2-0. Quality pitching from Clayton Boroski led to smooth sailing for UNF early on, but a storm was on the horizon.

Much like last week’s loss to UCF, it was a disastrous fifth inning that plagued the Ospreys on Tuesday. An RBI single by UF outfielder Ty Evans finally got the Gators on the board. This was followed by a Rene Lastres triple and a Michael Robertson single, putting UF ahead 4-2.

From here on out, the Ospreys weren’t able to muster another run. A lack of offense was not the culprit, though. Rather, UNF stranded eight runners on base, crippling any chance of an Osprey comeback. 

The Gators picked up where they left off in the sixth inning, scoring another three runs to extend the lead to 7-2. They never surrendered this lead, cruising in the late innings to victory. This moves Florida to 16-3 on the year, while UNF falls to 10-8. 

While this is obviously a disappointing result, there are plenty of positives to take away for the Ospreys. The offense showed that they can hang with the nation’s best, it’s just a matter of converting on scoring opportunities. Beating a team like the Gators is hard, but it becomes much harder if you leave eight potential runs on base.

UNF will look to take what they learned Tuesday into this weekend as they hit the road to open up ASUN play against Austin Peay. A strong performance in Clarksville can help set the Ospreys on track to success in the conference, but they have to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.


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