University of North Florida baseball surrendered four runs in the final inning, but came away with an 8-7 victory over South Alabama to secure the series on Saturday afternoon at Dusty Rhodes Field at Harmon Stadium.
With the win, the Ospreys improved to 10-4 overall and 5-2 at home.
North Florida led 8-3 heading into the final inning of play, but South Alabama refused to go down without a fight. The Jaguars used a pinch-hit single to start the inning. The Ospreys hit a batter with a pitch to give USA a pair of base runners.
UNF used a fielder's choice for the first out of the inning, leaving South Alabama with runners on the corners. North Florida moved to within on out of victory with a strikeout. South Alabama used an RBI single and an error to score a pair of runners. The Jaguars continued the inning with an RBI double and an RBI single.
The Ospreys hit another batter with a pitch to load the bases, but North Florida slammed the door shut on the comeback with a game-ending strikeout.
North Florida and South Alabama will conclude the three-game series with a single game on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Dusty Rhodes Field at Harmon Stadium.
Wagner 4, JU 1
Wagner evened the series with the JU baseball after earning a 4-1 win on Saturday at John Sessions Stadium. Ryan Van Spronsen (2-0) secured his second win for the Seahawks (2-9) after allowing a run on five hits and seven strikeouts in nine innings. Ian Miller had two hits to pace the offense.
The Dolphins (6-8) issued eight walks in the first three innings and had only two hits through six innings in the loss.
"We came out flat today," JU head coach Terry Alexander said. "They took advantage of our early mistakes and we were not able to recover. We will look rebound tomorrow in the finale."
Junior Corben Madden (1-1) took the loss for the JU after surrendering three runs on four walks and three strikeouts in two innings. Freshman Nolan Peterson allowed four walks and a run in 2.1 relief innings. Junior Drew Woods kept the Dolphins close by scattering two this in 4.2 scoreless frames. Miller scored on a two-out infield single from Bill Murphy in the first inning. Wagner made it 2-0 in the second inning as Tommy Higgins scored on a ground out.
The Dolphins wrap the series with Wagner tomorrow at 1 p.m. in John Sessions Stadium.
FSU 3, Duke 0
Eighth-ranked Florida State (13-1, 2-0 ACC) received another outstanding performance from its pitching staff in defeating Duke (7-10, 0-2 ACC) 5-0 Saturday afternoon inside the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The FSU Seminoles register their fourth shutout of the season to move to 2-0 in the ACC.
Mike Compton (4-0) worked a career-high 7.0 innings, the longest outing by a starting pitcher this year, to stay perfect on the year in four starts. The freshman right-hander did not give up a run and allowed just three hits as he walked three and recorded career-high five strikeouts.
All three hits that Compton allowed came in the first two innings and after issuing a walk with two outs in the third, the Branson, Mo., native retired the next 13 batters that he faced before departing after the seventh.
“Michael pitched seven strong innings,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was a great lift for us. He gave us what we needed today as we were limited in the bullpen after we decided to give both Benny and Hunter the day off because they have pitched a lot for us these last few games.”
Florida State and Duke will wrap-up the three game series on Sunday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
UCLA 7, Georgia 6
Ninth-ranked Georgia saw its Saturday rally fall short as No. 16 UCLA posted a 7-6 victory at Foley Field.
Ryan Deeter (1-0) picked up the win in relief and Scott Griggs collected his fourth save. Senior Michael Palazzone allowed three runs, only one earned, to drop to 0-1. The Bulldogs (11-4) made four errors on the afternoon that led to four unearned runs.
Junior Kyle Farmer led the Bulldogs at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI; both of his hits were doubles, giving him a team-leading seven for the season. UCLA right fielder Jeff Gelalich continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 to make him 7-for-8 in the series.
“I tip my hat to UCLA, they did another good job at the plate and put pressure on us, and I thought we were a little snake-bit today too,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We were in position in the ninth and came up short. I know where are, and we’ll make adjustments, as we get ready for SEC play. You never want to be 0-2 going to Sunday in a series, and we’ll figure out a little about our team in how they come out Sunday.”
The Bulldogs wrap up their series with the Bruins on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Florida 8, FGCU 3
No. 1 Florida (14-1) scored four runs in the first inning and junior Brian Johnson (2-0) had a season-high six strikeouts over six innings in a series-clinching 8-3 victory over Florida Gulf Coast (6-7) on Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
The Gators increased their winning streak to 12 games, two shy of the school-record stretch of 14 done twice (March 20-April 4, 2001, and Feb. 21-March 14, 2004).
Florida reached FGCU starter Brandon Bixler (2-2) for four runs in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. Junior Nolan Fontana (2-for-3, two RBI, two runs) drew a leadoff walk; senior Daniel Pigott was hit by a pitch and senior Preston Tucker earned a free pass to load the bases with none out.
Junior Mike Zunino (2-for-5) drove in two runs with a first-pitch single into left field and freshman Taylor Gushue deposited a base hit into center field to score Tucker. A fielder’s choice by freshman Justin Shafer left runners on the corners with one down and junior Austin Maddox (1-for-3) lofted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Zunino. The Gators’ total of four runs in the frame was their most to begin a game this season
“We got help with some walks there in the first inning and I thought we capitalized on those walks and got to a 5-0 lead after two innings,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought we had a really good approach early on and it was a tough day to hit. The wind was blowing in and their pitchers, when those guys are not in the zone all the time, they’re not the easiest guys to hit. We did enough to win and obviously we have to do a better job in the middle innings offensively, but that five-run cushion there certainly helped us to win.”
Sophomore right-hander Jonathon Crawford (1-1, 6.94) will oppose FGCU senior righty Jason Forjet (0-1, 2.50) in tomorrow’s finale at 1 p.m.