UNF Downs Wildcats 4-2 in Extra Innings in Home Opener
"Offensively, I think we had some opportunities, we just didn't take advantage of them," Head Coach Jason Beverlin said. "All the things we did so well over the weekend, we just struggled to do tonight and in a lot of the at-bats, their approach just wasn't what we were looking for."
The game remained scoreless through four frames, but the Ospreys broke the deadlock in the top of the fifth as second baseman Joe Wielbruda capitalized on a pair of baserunners, batting in one run on a groundout.
Breaking up a no-hitter for starter David Trexler, Eric Sams singled up the middle and advanced to second on wild pitch, scoring on Chris Biocic's single rip through the right gap to knot the score at 1-1.
The Ospreys countered in the top of the sixth, using an early inning walk and a balk to set up another groundout RBI, this time for Tyler Marincov.
Despite the run in the sixth, B-CU reliever Byron Ferguson provided 2.2 solid innings for the Wildcats, allowing two hits with three strikeouts, setting off four innings holding the Ospreys without a run.
Sams went back to work in the seventh, taking a single up the middle, and scoring on Matt Noble's RBI double deep to right center, granting the 2-2 tie, where the score would remain through the tenth.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Wildcats were in position to claim the win, as Sams singled over the shortstop's head to push pinch runner Jake Welch to third. Welch couldn't beat out a double play for the score on Noble's infield grounder, sending the game to extra innings.
After 2.1 hitless innings for Jordan Dailey, Eric Sams moved to the mound in relief in the 11th. Consecutive singles and a walk loaded the bases, prompting another pitching switch. A wild pitch from Michael Austin brought in pinch runner Garrick Ferguson and pinch hitter Donnie Dewees scored on a receiving error at first, B-CU's first of the game, barring the final out and sending UNF to a two-run advantage.
"I still think that it's an area that we need to improve and need to try and put together a full game of concentrated focus," Beverlin said.
The Wildcats were retired in order during the bottom half, sending the game to a 4-2 UNF after 11 innings.
After 7.2 innings from Trexler, UNF reliever Evan Incinelli (1-0) allowed two hits and no runs in 3.1 innings to earn the win, while Sams (0-1) took the loss for the night, among B-CU's seven pitchers.
"I thought we pitched very well. Really all the guys we brought in from the bullpen did a good job too," Beverlin said.
Offensively, Sams was on fire, batting 3-for-3 and scoring both of B-CU's runs in the contest. Noble and Biocic each logged RBI.
"Overall we've just got to get better at the things they're taught to do and execute the things they're told to do," Beverlin concluded.
The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday (Feb. 20) in a 4 p.m. tilt with FIU (3-0) at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
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