April 6, 2010
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Seventh-ranked Florida State (21-7) could not overcome a three-run first inning by North Florida (17-14) falling 3-1 to the Ospreys Tuesday evening at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville, home of the Florida Marlins’ Double-A affiliate the Jacksonville Suns. The loss snapped FSU’s three-game win streak in the series, while it marked just the second time UNF has defeated the Seminoles in nine all-time meetings.
“Dusty did a great job,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was just a beautiful job on his part. His ball club out played us tonight. They deserved to win.”
North Florida registered all its runs on a pair of first inning home runs off FSU starter Hunter Scantling (1-2). After recording the first two outs on just six pitches, the Ospreys’ Preston Hale got things going with a liner off the wall in right. Two pitches later, Robbie Collier connected on his first home run of the season going opposite field for a two-run shot and a 2-0 UNF lead. Justin Preckajlo followed with a solo shot to left to give the Ospreys a 3-0 advantage.
The two home runs would be all the Ospreys needed as four UNF pitchers combined to limit the Seminole offense to just one run on five hits. Mike McGee was responsible for three of those five hits finishing the evening 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of singles.
John Atteo (3-1) got the start for UNF and worked the first two innings giving up one hit as he earned the controlled start victory. George Lott followed and gave up the only Florida State run in two innings of work. Tommy Organ was the third Osprey pitcher of the night scattering just one hit and two walks over a career-high 3.2 innings. The freshman southpaw finished the game with three strikeouts. Casey Medlen threw the final 1.1 innings striking out three of the five batters that he faced to earn his third save of the season.
Florida State’s lone run came in the third inning as Sherman Johnson drove in Stephen Cardullo on a sacrifice fly to center with the bases loaded. Lott started the third and immediately found himself in trouble giving up back-to-back singles to Stephen Cardullo and McGee before issuing a walk to James Ramsey to load the bases with no outs. But the junior right hander got Stuart Tapley swinging on strikes for the first out of the inning. After giving up the sac-fly to Johnson, Lott got out of the inning on a groundball to short by Justin Gonzalez.
“We had our opportunities then,” added Martin on the Seminoles loading the bases in the third and scoring only one run. “It was just one of those things…that is what makes our game so great, you got to credit them, they did a good job of getting it done.”
Scantling settled down after the three-run first giving up just one hit over the next three innings. The Jacksonville, Fla., native left after 4.0 innings of work and three strikeouts to his name.
“He settled down and pitched well,” said Martin on the performance of Scantling on Tuesday night.
The Ospreys turned in a pair of big defensive plays in the top of the seventh saving what would have led to at least one Seminole run. With Jayce Boyd on at second after a walk and an errant throw on a pick-off attempt by Organ, T.J. Thompson robbed Tyler Holt of extra bases with a great diving play to his right on a ball headed down the left field line. The Osprey third baseman quickly got to his feet and threw a strike to first to get Holt for the second out of the inning. Preston Hall then followed with a running basket catch on a ball hit to the gap in right center off the bat of Cardullo to end the Seminole threat.
North Florida put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh as Tye Buckley issued walks to Thompson and Sam Perry. Martin went to the bullpen for the second time on Tuesday night bringing on Tyler Everett. Everett came in and recorded back-to-back groundouts to keep the Seminole deficit at two.
Buckley finished the evening working a career-high 2.1 innings as he did not allow a run or a hit to the Ospreys as he walked three and tied a career-high with two strikeouts.
The Seminoles opened the eighth inning on a positive note as McGee laced a double down the line in left. Organ then registered consecutive outs but a walk to pinch hitter Devon Travis ended the evening for the freshman southpaw. With runners at the corners and two outs, UNF went to the bullpen and brought on Medlen. The junior right hander ended the Seminole threat getting Gonzalez out on strikes.
Medlen returned to work the ninth and after giving up a one-out infield single to Rafael Lopez, recorded back-to-back strikeouts to give the Ospreys the two-run victory.
Everett threw 1.2 scoreless innings on Tuesday night lowering his ACC leading ERA to a league best 1.24. The junior right hander did not allow a hit as he struck out two.
Florida State and North Florida are right back at it again on Wednesday, April 7 as the two schools will square-off at 6:00 p.m. in Tallahassee for the third and final game of the regular season series. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles.com All-Access, while fans can listen in locally on 1270 the Team and 94.3 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com. The Seminoles’ Scott Sitz will make his first collegiate start on Wednesday.