DELAND, Fla. - Resiliency has been one of the common themes for Jacksonville University baseball this season, and it was on display again in a come-from-behind effort for the Dolphins on Thursday night. JU (35-22, 16-5 ASUN) fell behind early to North Florida (33-24, 12-9 ASUN), but scored seven unanswered runs over the course of the final five innings to prevail 8-5 over the Ospreys and improve to 2-0 in the ASUN Baseball Championship.
"This group, the entire season, has not panicked," Head Coach Chris Hayes said.
North Florida got the scoring going in the top of the first off of Michael Baumann, who gave up a triple and a homer in a 25-pitch first inning in which he faced eight Ospreys.
"Pitch location is the biggest thing for him and he fought it early," said Hayes.
North Florida extended its advantage to four, the greatest lead the Ospreys would have all night, with two more in the top of the fourth on a Blake Voyles triple, a Rey Gonzalez RBI single and a Yahir Gurrola RBI double in succession to make the score 5-1. After that, Baumann settled in.
"His stuff was unbelievable tonight. He had a live fastball, a sharp breaking ball. We watched the hitters and how they responded to him and we felt that Mike had complete control of the situation," said Hayes.
After JU pushed across one run in the bottom of the first after two UNF errors, the first two of five committed by the Ospreys on the night, the Dolphins put up a crooked number for the first time in the bottom of the fourth. RBI doubles from Dakota Julylia and Angel Camacho after another North Florida error brought JU back within two, 5-3.
From there the game belonged to JU. Two more came home in the sixth on back-to-back RBI singles from Mike Cassala and Evan Fernandez to tie it at five, and the Dolphins took the lead for good one inning later, when Scott Dubrule's two-bagger drove in Someillan, the 12th hit for the freshman second baseman against the Ospreys this year and his second game-winning knock against the crosstown rivals.
Through it all, Baumann provided stability and energy. After JU tied it in the sixth, UNF advanced the go-ahead run to third, but Baumann struck out the side to strand him, expressing himself by letting out a yell as his teammates greeted him in front of the dugout. He then matched his career high in innings, stranding a leadoff walk that advanced all the way to third again. When it was all said and done, he tossed a career-high 136 pitches en route to the win.
Two insurance runs were added in the eighth on Chris Lehane's opposite field double and Someillan's infield single, and after the bases were loaded in the ninth against Tyler Santana, the freshman K'd two of the final three batters to the plate to pick up his third save of the year.
Jacksonville advances to face the winner of Thursday night's #3 Florida Gulf Coast-#5 Kennesaw State game tomorrow at noon. The game can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on 1010XL and mixlr.com/judolphins.