April 29, 2009

Courtesty UNFospreys.com

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The bats of the No. 11 Miami Hurricanes were stifled by six University of North Florida pitchers Tuesday night, while the Ospreys exploded for 15 hits in a 10-1 upset, marking the first time in program history UNF has knocked off Miami, Florida, and Florida State in the same season.

After the Hurricanes (29-15) chalked their lone run in the bottom of the second frame, UNF (18-24) went on top for good in the third inning when junior Preston Hale belted a two-run shot over the right field wall of Alex Rodriguez Park.

Senior right handers Mike Gottlieb (1-0), who earned his first decision of the season, and Phil Rorabaugh combined to allow only one hit in three innings of work to shut down Miami before the Ospreys blew the game open in the fifth inning. Junior TJ Thompson provided the spark on the first pitch of his third at-bat, cracking a shot over the fence in right field to plate three runs. Junior Justin Preckajlo capped UNF's fifth-inning scoring on a Michael Gropper single to right.

Miami went down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but UNF continued to pour in the runs. After notching one run in the seventh courtesy of junior Kevin Martin's bases-loaded walk, Hale tallied RBI number three and four in the eighth inning when he singled up the middle to score senior Brian Wilson and sophomore Sam Perry. Hale crossed the plate on a throwing error after Preckajlo reached on a fielder's choice to push UNF's lead to the 10-1 final score.

Senior Antonio Franzese, UNF's starter Tuesday night, allowed one run on one hit and struck out one in two innings of work. Gottlieb threw one inning, striking out one, and Rorabaugh tossed two frames, giving up one hit and one walk with one strike out.

Following Spencer Jones' two-inning stint, fellow senior Ty Pryor provided one inning of relief and racked up three of the Ospreys' eight strikeouts. Senior John Frawley used two strikeouts to finish the Osprey upset but was forced to pitch his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning. He allowed two singles and gave up a walk - all with two outs - before striking out Nathan Melendres to end the game.

Five pitchers toed the mound for the Hurricanes with starter Jason Santana (6-1) being tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing 10 hits and six runs, all earned. Miami's hurlers combined for nine strikeouts, three walks and eight earned runs.

Eight of nine Osprey batters picked up a hit in the contest with four players collecting multiple base knocks. Wilson finished with four hits and scored three runs to add to Hale's 3-for-5, three run, three RBI performance. Thompson went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, and Perry had two hits and scored a run.

The win marks the third for UNF against a ranked opponent this season. The Ospreys defeated then-No. 6 FSU in Tallahassee 5-4 on March 4 and blanked then-No. 23 Florida 3-0 at Harmon Stadium on March 24. The Hurricanes had clinched wins in 13 of their last 15 outings before UNF handed them their third mid-week loss Tuesday night.

Both of Miami's hits entering the ninth inning came from the bat of Chris Herrmann. Harold Martinez and Dave DiNatale each singled in the ninth.

The Ospreys jump back into Atlantic Sun action this weekend when they visit Stetson for three games in three days beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.