Ospreys Make History in Defeating No. 23 Gators

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the most historical sporting event in UNF campus history, the University of North Florida baseball team did exactly what it needed to do and upset No. 23 Florida, 3-0, in front of a record crowd of 3,194 at Harmon Stadium on Tuesday night.

The game proved to be a pitching duel of epic proportions with the score knotted at zero through seven and a half innings. Then in the bottom of the seventh, senior Brian Wilson became the hero and blasted a single through the left side to drive in freshman Steve Hillan to put UNF (9-15) ahead for good and improve the Ospreys' all-time series lead over the Gators to 4-2.

Junior Preston Hale crushed a double to left field in the next at bat, which allowed Wilson and sophomore Michael Smith score. It proved to be all senior RHP Spencer Jones needed, as he closed the door on the Gators in the top of the ninth, ending the game with two-straight strikeouts.

The Ospreys wouldn't have been triumphant if it weren't for the stellar performance of their pitching staff. Starter Michael Kelly held Florida (14-8) scoreless through the first 4.1 innings and notched four strikeouts while allowing just three hits.

Senior RHP Antonio Franzese came up big for the Ospreys in the top of the fifth, entering the game with runners on the corners and one out. Franzese beared down and got UF's Buddy Munroe to strikeout and Avery Barnes to fly out and end the inning.