GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville University baseball used a six-run sixth inning to take a lead it never relinquished, beating #2/#6 Florida 10-8 on Wednesday night.
The Dolphins (6-4) drew 14 free passes and collected multiple timely hits to keep the pressure on the Gators on their home field.
Florida struck first, swatting a solo home run in the second. They added another in the third inning, with consecutive two-out hits making it 2-0.
JU got one back in the top of the third. Chase Malloy drew a one-out walk and stole second. He took third on a wild pitch, and with two-outs, Kris Armstrong and Hogan McIntosh both drew walks to load the bases. Chandler Howard was walked again to drive in the first Dolphin run of the night.
The Dolphins took the lead in the fourth. Colin Wetterau and Jonny Barditch were both put on via free passes and Elias Flowers sacrificed them over. After Malloy was robbed on a hard liner to third, Cam Ridley delivered with a base-hit to center, plating two to put JU up 3-2.
The lead was short-lived, as UF rallied in the bottom half. Richard Long limited Florida to just three hits through the first three innings and allowed a one-out single in the fourth. After a two-out walk, he induced a groundball to first, but it was mishandled and the inning continued. The next batter hit a sharp grounder to third, but the throw went wide of first and Florida scored three on the play. Blake Barquin came in and got the final out of the inning, but Florida led again 5-3.
After both teams went down in order in the fifth, the game-defining inning started with Wetterau singling to right center. Barditch then walked and Flowers laid down another sacrifice bunt attempt. The bunt was well-placed down the line, and the speedy Flowers forced an errant throw to first, with Wetterau scoring. Malloy smacked a single to left to tie and the Gators went back to the bullpen.
The first two pitches the new UF arm threw were both RBI singles, by Ridley and then Armstrong, to put JU in front 7-5. Hogan McIntosh walked to load the bases. With one-out, Blake DeLamielleure picked up an RBI on another walk, and Wetterau earned yet another free pass for another run. When the inning finally ended, the Dolphins scored six runs on five hits and led 9-5.
Barquin threw a zero up on the board in the bottom half, and JU added another run to go up 10-5 on McIntosh's RBI single to score Ridley.
Florida got one back in the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer, and scored two more in the eighth. With the tying run on base, Chris Lotito got back-to-back flyouts to end the threat.
After the Dolphins nearly added some insurance in the ninth, the leadoff man reached in the bottom half on an infield single. A groundout, strikeout and a last groundout to Malloy at short ended it, and preserved the win in JU's first road game of the season.
Jacksonville returns home to face Southeastern Louisiana in a three-game weekend series, with first pitch Friday night scheduled for 6 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium.
- It was the first win of the season over a ranked opponent, and the 13th under Head Coach Chris Hayes in his six-plus seasons
- Blake Barquin earned the win, matching his career-high in innings pitched with 3.2. It is his third-career win in relief
- Richard Long made his first career start and matched his career-best with 3.2 innings