March 5, 2009

Courtesy of UNF Athletics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With one swing of the bat in the top of the eighth against Florida State on Wednesday, freshman Steve Hillan catapulted the University of North Florida baseball program into new heights.

On a first-pitch fastball from Florida State's Brian Busch, Hillan clobbered the pitch to deep left field, and the ball hit the top of left fielder Mike McGee's glove and over the fence to put the Ospreys up 5-4. It was Hillan's first-ever collegiate hit, and he might not have been in the lineup if it weren't for several injuries to the lineup.

Senior RHP Ty Pryor shut down the No. 6 Seminoles in the final two innings to give UNF (4-6) its biggest win in program history, beating FSU 5-4. It was the highest-ranked Division I opponent the Ospreys have ever defeated, and it was the first time in five tries UNF has beat FSU.

Pryor improved to 2-1 on the season after he sat down FSU's Mike Meschke with a strikeout and sent the UNF dugout into jubilation. Pryor held the Seminoles hitless and struck out four in 2.1 innings of work.

After tying the game at one in the top of the second on an RBI groundout by sophomore Robbie Collier, the Ospreys jumped on the Seminoles with three runs in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead.

Sophomore Sam Testa was able to score when junior Preston Hale smashed a single into right field and an errant throw by FSU right fielder Ohmed Danesh sent Testa across the plate.

Redshirt freshman Andrew Karmeris drove in Hale in the next at-bat when he crushed a double down the right field line. Karmeris scored later in the inning when a pickoff attempt went on wrong on FSU catcher Rafael Lopez, as his throw went way above the head of third baseman Stuart Tapley and into left field.

FSU (6-3) put up two runs in the bottom of the fourth and bottom of the seventh to tie the game at four. But Pryor entered the game in relief of senior RHP Spencer Jones in the seventh with the bases loaded and a 1-0 count to get Danesh to ground out to sophomore Paul Morales at first base. The rest was history.

Junior RHP Tucker Pryor sparked the Ospreys and kept them in the game, pitching a successful first three innings. Pryor allowed just one run and struck out four.

Both Hale and Karmeris finished 2-for-5 with a run scored. The Ospreys were able to do all of their damage with just five total hits and were able to take advantage of four FSU errors. Almost half of UNF's squad was either injury-riddled or battling a sickness.

UNF will try to capitalize on its monumental win with it this weekend when it takes on cross-town rival Jacksonville beginning on Friday at JU's Sessions Stadium.